Plastic Free January
March 18th is Global Recycling Day designed to continue to raise awareness of the issues surounding plastic and non reclyclable materials.
At the end of 2018 I decided to do something much more long term about my and my families impact on the environment, as I realised I could of done so much more.
In 2018 I involved myself a couple of local campaigns "Ban The Straw" this does exactly what it says on the tin, do we really need straws unless we are a child or have a disability that warrants it? I appreciated some cocktails can be difficult to drink without one but lets use an alternative to the single use plastic ones.
I spoke to local businesses and encouraged venues to become part of the refill scheme, which in turn encourages people to use a reusable bottle for water, people are definitely carrying more reusable bottles but there is such a long way to go. It's about creating new habits for everyone in your household.
Every day when I walk my dog along the beach I always pick up litter, but yet I still continue to buy my shopping from Tesco where I am forced to buy products needlessly wrapped in plastic.
Plastic Free January Challenge
So for the month of January I decided to totally avoid Tesco and the other big supermarkets, my intention was to shop in local independents wherever possible.
I sat drinking a cup of coffee thinking where am I going to buy my milk? This could be my first challenge! It is going to take some planning that’s for sure, and anyone that knows me would tell you that's not my forte either.
The first week was the hardest but with some successes too. If you live near Wimborne consider yourself very lucky, my first shopping trip was to Pamphill Dairy where you will find a butcher, farm shop and Parlour Cafe not to mention the milk vending machine with milk fresh from Allen Valley Milk.
Pamphill Dairy is a family run business, much of its success can be put down to its idyllic setting and local food producers that supply the farm shop and the butchers. I was pleased to see that everyone at Pamphill was happy for me to use my own containers for my purchases although the butcher is using recyclable bags anyway.
I honestly can't remember the transition from a milk man delivering my milk to suddenly buying large plastic containers from a supermarket, around my teenage years I guess, I am now in my fifties, you don't need to be a mathmetician to realise the huge amount of plastic that involves.
Allen Valley Milk have a solution, installed at Pamphill is the vending machine pictured below. Bottles can be purchased and reused or you can refill your own container.
This is Ed the butcher happily showing off this giant rib of beef which sadly was outside of my budget,
I did however buy some minced beef, chicken breasts, and some of their amazing leeky chicken parcels
Just the tip of the iceberg but a selection of some of the offerings at Pamphill farm shop - they like to support local businesses wherever possible.
I visited Gullivers farm shop on the outskirts of West Moors, it is a lovely place where I found myself talking to chickens and goats for far to long and didn't realise the shop was only open until 4.00pm. Gullivers Farm Shop, part of the Sturts Community Trust, has regenerated the oldest building in West Moors to help provide meaningful activities and work opportunities for adults who have learning disabilities or other support needs.
Most of the produce for sale in the farm shop is from local suppliers or produced on their own 90 acre biodynamic farm, all of the meat sold comes directly from the farm too.
This week I decided to invesigate local farms that grow vegetables, introducing Berry Hill Farm, Jim Hooper, third generation farmer, based in Throop has recently started vegetable delivery boxes. The farm has a fascinating history on their website if you are interested, but the important thing is the veg- you wont get fresher!
My second visit to Pamphill was to purchase more eggs, meat, and milk it is great quality produce and this time I tied it in with a dog walk and a visit to 'Spill The Beans' in the centre of Wimborne. This amazing health food shop stocks over 2,000 products and dates back to 1977, way before the current trend of buying health foods was a thing.
Produce is weighed, priced and put into your own containers, you can also refill containers with dish soap, fabric conditioner, shampoo and a variety of other products. Following the theme of reducing your plastic waste you can buy bamboo toothbrushes and biodegradable floss. It really is a fascinating shop and one I urge you to visit, but be sure to allow plenty of time to look around.
All in all the month of January was a bit of an eye opener for me, I realise how difficult it is to try and shop this way without increasing the amount of miles I have to travel to do so. I havn't reverted to shopping in Tesco in the same way as I was, but still find myself popping in for last minute bits. The fresh vegetables delivered from Berry Hill Farm taste so much better than supermarket food but then you are limited to eating seasonally - not a bad thing, but hard to adapt to when supermarkets offer so much variety.
As 2019 has rolled on into March, I've continued to manage my plastics, and have fould new places to shop, such as New Forest Raw Milk, in Milford on Sea, another great local place for fresh milk.
Shopping in a greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger etc is a much nicer shopping experience, I felt valued as a customer and actually had conversations with the people serving me. Listed below are some of the places I recommend you try.
Butcher in Westbourne www.petertreble.com
TD Fruits - Southbourne Grove
Neal and Son Butcher - Tuckton www.butchers-shop.co.uk
www.sunrise-organics.co.uk - selling organic whole foods, weekly deliveries of organic fruit and veg
Shappen Stores Burley - facebook page
Sway Butchers www.swaybutchers.co.uk
Local Larder - www.fruberfruit.co.uk
The Naked Pantry - food products but also doing great things with recycling. Check out their facebbok page.
www.almondandco.co.uk opening at the beginning of April, plastic free shop.
New Forest Raw Milk - Sarah's Dairy (facebook page) Milk vending machine, Hordle Manor Farm, Cliff Road, Milford on Sea.
Roebridge Farm Shop- Winton
Metro Market - Charminster