Grocery Shopping Transition

In my attempt to reduce waste and the negative environmental impact that I have been guiltily contributing to, I have decided to make some changes with the way I grocery shop.

For the past few months, that is before I was aware about the Zero Waste concept, I had been doing online grocery shopping on Tesco. I thought that since it’s my final year at uni, online shopping would give me more time to be productive. It seemed fun and convenient at first — clicking the items I needed and booking the time slots, all without having to move my bum. This shows how lazy I was.

Now the thing with online shopping on Tesco is that you would have to spend at least £40 for free delivery. If not, you would be charged the ‘Minimum Basket Charge’ of £4, and the delivery charge of £1-£5 depending on the time slots. But this is only if you are subscribed to a Delivery Saver Plan (£3 a month).

So to avoid the ‘Minimum Basket Charge’ and have free delivery, I thought I’d play smart by reaching at least £40 and not exceeding £45. So I’d buy a lot of canned and frozen items besides fruits and veges.

But I soon realised that online shopping took a long time rather than not, probably because of either my indecisiveness or the need to get the necessary promotions (e.g. buy 5 for £2, buy 3 cheapest free, etc.) or both. So it was not productive at all. And I would still have to carry the load of items up a flight of stairs to my flat when the delivery truck came because somehow there’s a policy that the drivers are not allowed to enter the building.

This reflection coincided with my learning about the Zero Waste initiative and how even the simplest, careless and normal actions do affect the well-being of the environment. By doing online shopping, I was encouraging the use of more fuel for transportation. And even though I did not opt for plastic bags (4p each), I noticed that there were still plastic packaging to most of the items, including onions. And what’s worse, some of the plastic packaging are actually plastic film that is ‘currently not recycled’.

I was frustrated knowing that I was conscious of the impact and yet I still did nothing to change. But this frustration pushed forward my intention of reducing un-recyclable waste.

So last Friday, with my shopping trolley, I went to a proper grocery store and bought the fresh produce I needed. I know I can’t ignore Tesco altogether because I still need the canned beans, bread and toilet roll. But the point is that I am in control of how I shop, what bags I use, and, if the items are packaged, making sure that the packaging is at least recyclable.

And I have cancelled the Delivery Saver Plan so I don’t have to pay for fuel and overpriced deals anymore — hurrah!

[The featured image is of the veg bags that the organic farm Abundant Earth does. Hopefully at some point in my life I can eat fresh veg & fruits from my own garden!]

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