For a long while now I have been contemplating on using reusable bags for our grocery shopping. What is stopping me from doing so is wondering what we will be using as our trashbags if we no longer get them from the supermarket. I started researching about it and apparently a lot of people who are into this “green” lifestyle no longer need a trashbag mainly because their waste is so minimal due to how they manage their waste at home.
This led me to stumbling upon this packaging free store called Unpackt and I was excited when I find out that it is only four bus stops away from our house. Since it is a packaging free shop, I needed to do some pre-planning on my end to make sure I bring the right amount and size of containers for the stuff that I need. I surveyed our pantry and planned our meals for the next two weeks so I basically know what ingredients I need. I then checked out their facebook page to see what stuff they have to match it against what I needed. I was not very sure of the price and was ready to back out if I find the price way over my budget. We ventured to the store one fine Sunday morning, armed with my reusable bag and several IKEA containers.
The initial process was overwhelming, confusing, intimidating and even a bit stressful since you have to piece together what you need, how much you need, which container to use, how to take the stuff and not to mention you need to get your containers weighed before you put stuff in them. As you get the hang of it, it gets better and I can foresee once you are a regular customer with assigned containers for specific products, this process will be much simpler and easier.
They have a selection of goods ranging from pastas, spices, vinegar, cooking oil, flour, nuts, snacks, cleaning supplies, personal care products, etc. They also sell handcrafted soaps for $15 and this made my eyebrow raise. $15 tiny soap? No, thank you.
They also sell eco friendly alternatives to everyday stuff that we use like reusable pads, beeswax wrap, bamboo toothbrush, cloth napkins, drinking straws, cutleries, etc. I personally found the price of these items ridiculous and way too expensive as they are priced double (some triple) compared to how much they sell for online. I actually needed some of these items but I am better off getting them from Amazon .
They do not issue printed receipts to align with the zero waste concept but they do email you a copy of it. Below is my receipt and my purchases. The prices are acceptable considering they are organic and chemical free so I will definitely purchase again (except for the dishwashing liquid!). I actually needed laundry detergent as well but the price is way too expensive. I really wish this concept will kick off and that their store will expand to offer more selections.
So yeah, this is the first step into a “greener” lifestyle. Next on my list is to start using reusable bags and implement recycling at home. I need to do more research on this but I know our condo has recycling bins but I also want to check if they have a composting pit. I have also just recently stopped using packaged materials for my lunch and started bringing my own container with reusable cutleries whenever I purchase my lunch from the hawker stores. I do not ever expect us to be zero waste at all but I believe any small contribution will help, plus it makes me feel that I am a #betterhuman already.