Shopping with Refills? How to use our New Glass Jars
Introducing the latest addition to the zero-waste, plastic-free and eco-friendly Tabitha Eve family: Our fabulous new Glass and Cork Storage Jars!
Our new jars are entirely plastic-free, eco-friendly and made from glass with a plant-based, biodegradable cork lid. There are so many ways you can use these jars in your home, whether it's for zero-waste refill shopping, food storage, keeping your zero waste bathroom essentials tidy or just organising all of your bits and bobs.
But, seeing as Plastic Free July is right around the corner, we'd love to focus on zero waste, refillable grocery shopping. Perhaps you've wanted to adopt refill shopping as a part of your food shops? Walked past one and felt intrigued but too intimidated to go in? Trust me, I felt the same.
But, I can assure you that once you get the hang of it, it is so easy and SO much fun! Once you go refill, you never go back.
I thought I'd use what I've learnt whilst working in zero-waste, refillable grocery store to help you all get going on your own refill journey!
Refillable Grocery Shopping
One of the most difficult places to reduce single use plastic is in our food shops. Although a lot of supermarkets are now working towards plastic-free fruit and veg or reducing plastic in multipacks, there is still clearly a long way to go and for lots of us, there is simply no avoiding single use plastic altogether.
One of the most effective ways to reduce singe-use plastic in your grocery shopping is by going to zero-waste, refill shops. Plastic-free, refill stores are now opening all over the country and now even larger supermarkets like Aldi and ASDA are beginning to introduce refill stations! It is absolutely worth looking into finding one near you or seeing if any local health food shops offer refills of any kind.
It can be daunting at first so start out by just going in and having a look, maybe take a container or two with you, chat to the staff and they will guide you through it - no question is a stupid question! Then when you next go in, take some more containers now that you're feeling more confident.
I know, the fear of spilling something in the shop is very real but don't worry, it happens - and hey, the staff spill stuff too!
It's worth saying, you can take any containers you like to zero-waste, refill shops - as long as they're clean of course. Many people think you have to bring in lovely glass jars like ours (and of course you absolutely can!) but you can also bring in any old, plastic containers too. When I worked in a refill shop, people would get shampoo refills in old single-use, plastic water bottles! Somebody even got a spice refill in an old face cream pot - hey if it works, it works!
How Does Refill Work?
Of course it varies between shops, but the general practice is usually pretty similar. Any questions, just ask the staff!
1. Weigh the empty jar - this is important so you don't pay for the weight of the jar, only what's inside it! Some shops weigh them for you and write the weight on in marker, others let you weigh them yourselves and you get a sticker to put on the jar.
2.Refill! - this is the fun part! Some shops might do messy refills like liquids for you, as always, just ask.
3. Pay - Now your containers are full, take them to the till and they will use the empty container weight to work out how much you have to pay. Simple!
Can't do Refill? Go for Bulk
Sadly not all of us have zero waste, refill stores near us (yet!) so another way to reduce the plastic waste in your food shop is buying in bulk. Buying certain items in bulk, such as pasta, rice, pulses, grains, cereals, spices, coffee and loose leaf teas can massively reduce the amount of plastic packaging that comes into your home.
Once you have your big, bulk bags, you can them decant them into our Glass Jars, reducing plastic waste and leaving you with gorgeous looking cupboards too.
Unfortunately it won't cut out plastic packaging all together in the same way that refill shopping does. Some of your bulk items will likely come in plastic packaging but one plastic bag of pasta bought in bulk, is better than 10 individual plastic bags of pasta - every little change counts!
Save Unnecessary Packaging AND Save Money?
Yep! For some reason, many people think that loose, refill shopping is more expensive and it can actually be way cheaper than supermarkets! Firstly, you only buy what you need so refill shopping is especially good if you live on your own (read our blog post about sustainable solo living here>>) This will not just save you money but cut down on food waste too.
But also, so much of what you pay in the supermarket is for branding and packaging. So, no packaging means no branding, which means a lot cheaper!
So, get out there and get refilling!
I really hope this has inspired you to get out there and have a go - I really wish I'd done it sooner! If you have a go and really love it, why not invest in one of our New Glass Storage Jars?