I have always tried to do my bit for sustainability – recycling whatever waste I can either at home or at the dump, composting my veg peelings etc but I have tried to make a conscious effort to expand this into other areas of my life.

As part of Luck’s Yard 2019 theme of sustainability I thought I would share with you some of the other things I have been doing.

While it’s probably considered more convenient to do all of our shopping in one go at the supermarket I am constantly amazed with the huge amount of unnecessary packaging one ends up with.  Apparently much of this can be recycled but there have been questions about how much actually does get recycled and how much is added to the ever-growing problem of landfill.  So I try to get items that are packaged in glass and cardboard or paper bags – the latter can easily by composted.  Not always easy to do but you can always buy loose veg and weigh without using the plastic bags.  The problem I find is that nearly all the organic vegetables is pre-packed in one kind of plastic or another.  I guess this is to ensure that it can’t get mixed but but such a shame to have to ‘buy’ all this packaging……

So for some time I have been making a big effort to buy my vegetables and fruit from suppliers who offer paper bags or indeed who will happily fill your own shopping bags with loose products.  Despite the fact that we have lost our Friday market in Godalming we are blessed with the veggie shop AmyLous on Bridge Street and also the fruit and veg stall located at the Pepperpot.

We have Secretts in Godalming who sell loose produce and where there is a monthly Farmers’ Market supporting local producers.

I also buy an organic veg box to supplement my groceries as I passionately believe that organic farming is more sustainable for our planet.  Nearly all the produce is loose and what isn’t is mainly in paper bags and the odd compostable alternative.

Black Barn Butchers next door to Secretts are happy to sell their locally sourced meat directly into your own containers without using any plastic bags at all. It goes straight into my fridge or freezer when I get home.

Food for Thought, an independent health food shop in Guildford has started to stock various cleaning materials – hand soap, surface cleaners, clothes washing liquid and conditioners etc ‘on tap’.  All you need to do is take your containers along and get them refilled.

Okomoko in Farnham offer the same service and you can also buy herbs, spices and other dried food good using your own containers.

Last year I started getting my organic milk delivered in sustainable glass bottles – amazing how much this has reduced my plastic recycling.

I receive a great deal of mail and with the large amount of online shopping that gets delivered to my front door for various members of my family, I end up with loads of padded envelopes and unfortunately plastic wrapping too.  All the envelopes go in a pile to be re-used and same with the plastic bags – if I ever need to send parcels etc that is what they are sent in with a new label stuck on the front.

I try to re-use wrapping paper too. So much of it is perfectly usable and I hate to throw it away and by the way, last years Christmas cards are cut up to make tags/labels for next year’s presents!  I shred lots of my paperwork and I compost that too.

I have great respect for anyone who has forgone their car – a few friends have opted for car-sharing – but I confess I find that pretty daunting but I try to make sure I can walk whenever possible.

So there you are – a few things that I have been doing that really don’t require a lot of effort.  No doubt I will continue on my sustainable journey and try to introduce more good habits. If you’ve got any other good ideas for sustainable living,  I’d be more than happy to hear them ….

Pippa Mitchell

Nutritional Therapist, www.eatwellnutrition.co.uk