At the Real Economy, we’re not just passionate about local food, we care about reducing our wider environmental impact. Here is a few ways we try to weave sustainability throughout what we do:
– Because we send the producers an order earlier in the week, this gives them a chance to plan their harvesting etc, and deliver only what is ordered, minimising waste.
– With our dried food hub produce, we do a regular stocktake, and as things approach their best before date, we put them on sale (have a look at the Special Offers menu on the online shop). This means there is zero waste from our Food Hub.
– All our food is packed into reusable bags, and cool bags with ice sheets. We ask you to return these to your collection point, where they are cleaned and reused for future orders. We also try to re-use the luggage tags that are used to label your bags too!
– A number of our suppliers would like their jars and bottles returned! Barley Wood apple juice, Gingerbeard’s Preserves and Nutcessity will all take back the jars and bottles once you’ve finished their delicious produce – reusing them is much better for the environment than recycling, so simply give them a rinse and return these items in your bags to the collection point, and we’ll return them to our suppliers next time they deliver.
– We encourage our suppliers to use reusable packaging – all of the Community Farm veg boxes are returned directly to them, along with the cool boxes that Somerset Local Food Direct deliver in. Most of the producers use reusable crates for the deliveries, and we return cardboard boxes where possible.
– We repackage some of the dried goods in our Food Hub, but we use ziplock bags rather than normal plastic bags as they are more durable and easier to reuse, so we hope that you will wash these out and reuse them in your home.
– If, like me, you hate putting egg boxes in the recycling but don’t know what else to do with them, then return them to us. Where possible, we pass them on to our producers for reuse, and if not we find another local business to donate them too.
– Some of our deliveries do come in packaging such as cardboard boxes, and we make every effort to recycle as much of this as possible.
– In the office, we use recycled paper, print on both sides, and find as many uses as possible for scrap paper as we can! Our admin and food hub assistant Delphine is passionate about waste and reuse, and is always finding new ways to reuse and repurpose things we might otherwise have thrown away.