A simple pantry

zero waste shopping Australia

I have always believed that your name can influence your life; my friend Fabian’s name means bean counter and he’s a gardener, another friend Crystal has a salt business, and since I married and changed my surname to Jarred, I have developed an obsession with jars.

In particular I’m quite fond of the angular jars with gold lids that so often contain pickles and relishes, and have roped in both my mum and sisters (all condiment queens) to set aside their prettiest jars. From a sustainability perspective, I believe recycling should only ever be the last resort and that reuse is always a better option.

The trick to removing that sticky label glue is Tea Tree Oil (or any citrus-based essential oil that happens to be on hand, Eucalyptus likely works just as well).

In my cupboards there are different jars for different occasions – little quince paste jars for spices, Bon Maman jam jars for nuts and other treats, larger bulk coconut oil jars for flours and rices, and all the various shaped black lidded jars are sent to the freezer for individual portions of soups and pasta sauces, thanks to a tip from the lovely Alexx Stuart over at Low Tox Home, who taught me to always double or triple a recipe for the freezer. I even keep chocolate mud cake in the freezer, home made muesli bars, over-ripe fruit for juicing in the thermi and pre-cooked rice… which requires a lot of glass jars.

Then there’s the glass bottles – for storing things like sesame oil and tahini, to keep water bottles around the house and in the car… they’re everywhere.

As part of our commitment to the trees and the turtles, they’re all weighed and refilled at the bulk store, helping to almost completely avoid food packaging and contributing to a more sustainable food system overall. By shopping locally we are able to support smaller retailers, manufacturers and farmers who are working towards a better world by following organic farming principals, promoting low food miles, or just being better humans in general.

Every day we vote with our dollars and choose to either help support people doing good things, or support large corporations making bad decisions to get larger and more powerful. For me, I’ll always choose to give the power to the people, even if it means a few extra dollars at the register, it’s a small price to pay for the profound change it could make to the world if we all did it, even just sometimes.

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