If you care about the environment and want to reduce your use of plastic, you might want to try shopping at the Northern Valleys Locavore Store – the local produce market in Bindoon has crafted a unique solution to the problem of single-use plastic.
Frustrated with the excessive use of plastic bags in supermarket fruit and veg aisles, co-owner of Northern Valleys Locavore Store, Tamieka Preston, who also owns the Northern Valleys News, sought a unique solution for the shop, which only sells food produced within 100km of the store.
“I looked into recycled packaging, hemp, paperbark, you name it!” she said. “But they all required buying something in. I wanted to reuse or repurpose something at hand. We were already re-using fruit boxes and encouraging people to bring their own bags, but I could see people hesitating when they picked up their fruit – we needed to make it easier.”
“I was doing some origami at home with my son and we made up some cute little gift boxes for Easter. I took them into the store with the idea to use them somehow, but it was the ladies in the shop who came up the idea of using the newspaper.”
Crafty crew Sue Sim and Leanne Green, who were running the shop, started using the leftover Northern Valleys Newspapers to make up the boxes, extending the range to paper pockets and a range of different sizes. Now everything is packed into the unique newsprint boxes and bags — cutting out the need for single-use plastic and making the produce in the store easier to buy and transport.
“It’s a fabulous low-cost solution which also fits our ethos of being sustainable and ethical,” says Tamieka. “The newspaper is read, used for packaging, and afterwards you can compost in in your garden or use it for lighting your fire.”
Customers have embraced the concept, praising the store for it’s proactive attempt to support a sustainable lifestyle.
“I think almost everyone wants to be more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint – it’s clearly one of the biggest dilemmas for consumers of our generation,” said Tamieka. “But convenience is an issue – everyone is in a hurry, and people need to pick up their groceries quickly and easily. There are some fantastic reusable produce bags available now, but remembering to use them is another task to add to the shopping list — plus they are pricey!”
The Northern Valleys Locavore Store is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm at 29 Binda Place, Bindoon, and you can also order online at www.nvls.com.au.