Why The Environmental Shopping Network?
One weekend I spent hours searching the internet to find a couple of items I buy regularly – pasta and cream – which didn’t come in plastic packaging.
I wouldn’t call it a waste of time, but unless, like me, you don’t like to be beaten by such challenges, it would’ve been easy to give up. I found lots of interesting websites and blogs with nuggets of information, but nothing that I could just quickly go to, search for an item and know where to buy it.
So I decided to make a website that would do just that – a go-to information point making it easier for anyone to make changes in their shopping habits.
I did think about calling it ‘the plastic-free shopping network’ but that doesn’t quite cut it for me. Plastic is a huge problem when it comes to shopping, but I didn’t want to lose sight of other issues such as sustainability and our carbon footprint. And no doubt, as time moves on, other issues will arise.
And the network bit is because I can’t do this alone. I need others’ help to expand the network – especially when it comes to local independent shops.
I guess I should also add some sort of disclaimer, that this site isn’t here to recommend anything. Many (and as the site grows, probably most) of the products listed I’ve never tried. I’m simply trying to give people easy access to the information they need to start making the changes they want to make.
Tags and product descriptions are also taken from online listings, so please double check ingredients before buying.
I’ve always considered myself to be environmentally aware. I recycle everything I can. I compost. I buy organic produce if I can. But, I’m also a lazy shopper.
With two small children, I mostly cook things I know and which are often quick and easy. Generally the menu doesn’t vary all that much from week to week, and neither does my shopping.
I go to the local supermarket, grab what I need, and don’t give it all that much thought.
But recently I read an article that had a profound impact on me. It was an article about China no longer being able to take our plastic waste. Call me naïve (I deserve it) I just assumed that when I put things into the recycling bin they got…well, recycled…here. Not shipped off to China!
That article plus the final episode of Blue Planet II, made me realise I may think of myself as environmentally aware, but really I’m not doing all that I can to reduce mine and my family’s negative impact on the planet.
At the start of the year I decided to reduce our household’s single-use plastic consumption. Not easy when you do all your shopping at your local supermarket.
This challenge was only going to be achievable if I started to change my shopping habits. I’m taking baby steps, and every week I’m discovering more products (many in my local area) that are helping me reduce the amount of plastic that enters our house.