Eleanor came home from school last week and told us she’d had a lesson on zero waste and that she really enjoyed it. I got quite excited by this and we had a really great conversation about what zero waste means and why we should care.
“Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention… The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the ocean.” – Wikipedia
The message Eleanor had taken from her lesson, which disappointed me slightly, was that we should be recycling everything. If you caught the first episode of War On Plastic on BBC1 recently, you’ll know why that shouldn’t be our goal. Still, it was a fantastic starting point for a conversation at home and Eleanor’s enthusiasm is admirable!
Zero Waste Shopping
The kitchen is a massive source of single use plastic. If you shop at supermarkets, you’ll know how pretty much everything you buy is covered in single use plastic. Even fruit and veg which really doesn’t need it. Plus, when food is prepackaged, most of us end up with quantities we don’t need which also goes to waste.
After visiting The Clean Kilo, I was pretty excited by the idea of zero waste shopping. However, as I said in my post, the shop in Digbeth is too far for me to be a regular place to shop. As much I want to reduce the amount of packaging waste coming out of our house, I think that the resources to achieve this need to be closer to home. There aren’t many people who are going to go miles out of their way to do their shopping.
I was really excited to find out that there are plans in motion to bring zero waste shopping to Sutton Coldfield. Sutton Coldfield is in the north of Birmingham and my home town. We have a few large supermarkets but it’s pretty much impossible to buy plastic-less shopping nearby.
Zero Waste in Sutton Coldfield
The Weigh Forward is going to open in the market in Sutton Coldfield, run by a team of eight volunteers. They’re in the process of crowdfunding to get the business up and running with the aim of being open sometime towards the end of July. Another unique way of raising funds is encouraging their Facebook followers to switch energy supplier with the money from each switch going towards the shop.
I popped down to the unit that they’ve happily been able to pay for already and had a quick chat with Dani and Rael, two of the volunteers behind the project. (Weirdly, I realised that I recognised Dani from the school run, it really is a small world!). It’s so refreshing to meet people who live right near me that care about the same issues that I do and we had a really nice chat.
The Weigh Forward
The plan for The Weigh Forward is that they will stock food, cleaning products and hopefully even items such as cloth nappies and sanitary wear. Customers will bring along their own containers, weigh what they want to buy and pay for it. It’s so easy and means that customers really are only buying what they need.
Personally, I can’t wait for this to be a reality. It means that our family can easily become more zero waste and also support a local business. Eleanor is also pretty excited as she’s on a one child mission to rid our house of single use plastic. This week’s swap? Harry’s cat food is now in tins rather than pouches (I was kicking myself for not having spotted this one!).
If you are local to Sutton Coldfield, or interested in zero waste, I hope that you’ll support The Weigh Forward. You can donate to their crowdfunding campaign, switch your energy supplier or just share their Facebook page.
There will definitely be a follow up blog post to this one when they guys are up and running 🙂