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Thinking of wasting less in 2021? Some simple swaps to get you started.

Hello! Becca here, and this blog is about some of the things we've done in our house over the last couple of years to try and throw less away, recycle more and buy more locally and sustainably.

We didn't do this overnight and there's lots more we could be doing but here's some of things we've tried, generally swapping one product at a time to see how we get on.

  1. Buying loose from hoppers/scoop bins - we now buy all our pasta, rice, coffee beans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, lentils and popping corn from the hoppers, bringing our own bags or containers. Products are mainly organic and often cheaper than the supermarket equivalents. Coffee beans aren't organic but are locally roasted here in Manchester. Thinking about dried fruit and oats for 2021.

  2. Herbs & spices - all the herbs and spices from Suma come in recyclable cardboard packets with compostable inners. The main difference is the taste - the cinnamon is the best cinnamon we've ever tasted! Now we try to replace herbs and spices as they run out with the ones from Village Greens. There's also some loose dried herbs available on top of the deli counter.

  3. Liquid refills - so far washing up liquid and liquid handsoap but for 2021 I'll be trying a new shampoo and conditioner from Faith in Nature.

  4. Milk (confession - this isn't Village Greens!) We now order our milk from a local milkman and have it delivered in glass bottles which are returned and reused. However if you are an oat milk drinker then Oato oat milk is available in returnable glass bottles from Village Greens. Did you know that the foil lids can go in your mixed recycling bin? Read more here in our recycling blog here.

  5. Vegetables - we now buy most of our veg from Village Greens, less in the summer because we grow our own. Again, all organic, all packaging free, sourced as locally as possible and all delicious. Particular favourites include the ginger (the gingeriest ginger ever!), chestnut mushrooms (currently reusing the same paper bag to see how many uses I can get out of it) and red cabbage.

  6. Eggs - again not from Village Greens but we have eggs delivered from a local farm. The eggs in Village Greens come from Knowl End Farm in Todmorden and typically come into the shop on a Thursday.

  7. Tea - we've been trying to buy some more ethically sourced tea and love the Essentials camomile tea bags. They are plastic free, organic and fairtrade. Village Greens also stock loose tea from Teak Teas, loose teabags with black tea and lots of brands of plastic free, ethically sourced tea. Check out the well stocked tea shelf!

  8. Recycling - there are some things which I haven't managed to swap yet and so make use of the Terracycle recycling points in the shop. Toothpaste and all things dental and dishwasher tablet packaging. More details of all the Terracycle schemes here.

So if you fancy setting yourself a challenge and making a few swaps then details of what's available as a refill can be found here.

Happy swapping and all the best for 2021!


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