A creative writer based in Melbourne.
Published February 6th 2017
Tackle our growing plastic consumption by shopping smart
Plastic. The environments arch nemesis. In 2016, Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced if we do not minimise the amount of plastic flooding our water, by 2050 there would be more plastic than fish in out waters.
This year, take up the challenge of minimising your plastic consumption. Considering plastic takes thousands of years to break down, or doesn't break down at all, the best way to deal with the epidemic is to, first of all, reduce the amount we consume. Reusing and recycling are also practical tools, but by minimising the actual production and demand for plastic packaging, we can all help stop the tsunami of plastic.
Melbourne, the culture and food capital of our sunburnt country, offers up an array of accessible and affordable shops and restaurants catering to a plastic-fee lifestyle. If you're thinking about cutting down your environmental impact, here are a few environmentally friendly places you can visit to kick start your plastic free year!
Shop - The Source Bulk Foods A Melbourne favourite, The Source Bulk Foods offers bulk kitchen staples where you can buy as little or as much as you want. Bring your own containers, or buy the ones they have available, and stroll through the large selection of dried fruit, chocolate treats, oils and much more. The minimalistic stores are ideal for both the bulk buyer or when you don't need a 1kg of LSA mix. With an extensive range of gluten free and vegan options, Source Foods caters for all dietary needs while focusing on minimising store bought packaging. They offer cleaning products and oils too!
Dine - Moroccan Soup Kitchen This Fitzroy North gem hosts a rotating vegetarian menu where the only way to grab a doggy bag is if you bring a takeaway container from home. The kitchen offers up different meals each day but always making sure the famous Chick Pea Bake is on offer.
An initiative run by Sydney based non-for-profit organisation, Take 3, #take3forthesea is the simplest activism you'll ever do! Pick up three pieces of rushing (or as many as you like!), rearrange them on the ground, snap it and then upload it to social media. Take 3 are aiming to collect 300,000 pieces of rubbish this summer. Make sure you join the Take 3 Pick it. Snap it. Share it. Facebook group!
Cooking – Cooking Without Waste Head to the Queen Victoria Markets at the end of this month to join chef Ben Mac from the Social Food Project where he will show how to reduce your food waste in the kitchen. Part of the Sustainable Living Festival, the event covers storage, leftovers and meal planning to help us stop wasting food so we stop buying more.
The reality is, plastic never completely breaks down, the pieces just get smaller and smaller. So instead of ignoring the ever-growing consumption of this environmental killer, take the challenge of minimising your plastic consumption.
These places are a great list to start with, and before you know it, you'll be attacking the plastic epidemic head on!