Perth is pretty small for a capital city, and we don’t really have a strong zero waste/plastic free community, but thankfully this is something that is changing rather rapidly thanks for things like Plastic Free July (henceforth referred to as PFJ, we’re trying to make it sound more hip) and places like The Wasteless Pantry. There are a few different places cropping up, but the Wasteless Pantry really piqued my interest because they are really focusing on  creating a real community around waste reduction which is key to changing the patterns of consumer behaviour and well, it’s actually in my hometown – Mundaring!

So last week, after a job interview (which I did not get, I’m still unemployed, sigh) I headed the 45 minutes up to the hills with two other PFJ friends, Nic and Lauren with the goal of grabbing supplies to make a ~happy PFJ~ dinner. And also lamingtons. We all really like lamingtons, I don’t apologise for my love of baked goods one iota. All photos are by Nic because I cleverly left my phone in the car.

Oh look, Nic and Lauren ~

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One super good thing we did do before we headed up was to hand in Lauren’s ever growing collection of dead batteries and light globes at our university guild’s collection point. Lauren is a tour de force of trash, always learning new ways to recycle things, and she was the first person to introduce me to PFJ and to start thinking about the level of trash I produce in my daily life. You can find more places to drop off your batteries/globes/printer cartridges at the Earth Carers Website. (Also who Lauren does lots of training through – check it out)

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The drive was a bit long, but it was nice to revisit my past and spend the time chatting about what zero waste means to us, and what ways we’re changing bits and pieces about our lives. The issue of distance is a major player for me, what the benefit of shopping zero waste if you have to burn 45 minutes worth of fuel to get there? Anyway.

But it was definitely worth the trip. The Wastefree Pantry was so beautiful and so well organised. It was gorgeous. They had everything from the staple ~7 different kinds of flours~ to spices to plastic free m’n’ms. I was totally in love. Their prices were pretty reasonable? Being zero waste/bulk means that you’re going to pay a little more per unit for some things, but others will be more affordable and you can decide on the amount that you actually need, to ensure nothing is wasted. They also had a lot of plastic free/reusable accoutrements like compostable wooden toothbrushes (i bought one), produce bags, free jars (with the tare weight written on them) and things like packaging free shampoo, deodorant and many other misc toiletries.

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There was also plastic free dog and cat food. As a pet person that’s an issue I constantly worry about, but fortunately I have vegetarian pets who actually help me by eating what I can’t compost using my Bokashi (more on that eventually).

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But the best thing was the liquids, oh my god the liquids. That’s one thing I struggle with being completely zero waste… they ha such a good range of cooking oils (olive, coconut, things like that) and essences and cleaning liquids detergent, washing liquid, fabric wash). Vinegar! Crazy right. Now those are things i would drive 45 minutes to buy in bulk, an things I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. You can check out the rest of their range on their Product List.

Yes after this we did go buy lamingtons and bread from the local bakery, which has been there since I used to visit after netball on super cold Saturday mornings in winter. They were completely plastic free, and we asked for the bread to be wrapped in paper, for which they were super obliging.

We the dropped Nic home and headed to Swansea St Markets for our fresh produce, which went super well, despite the garlic being from Mexico and having to purchase cheese that came in plastic lined paper AND neeed to be coupled with some highly naughty brie in order to make the $10 eftpos minimum. Greeeeeat.

A super good day, but super long, like this blog post. I’ll cover the process of cooking our diligently sourced bits and pieces, as well as the recipes, in the next blog post.