My number one plastic free switch in the kitchen

Turning toward the kitchen, today’s #feelgoodfriday is all about veggie boxes. So, I am as guilty as anyone in buying veggies on the go when I can. Here in the UK, that means plastic plastic plastic as everything is wrapped up. Veggie boxes are a great way to reduce the single use plastic in your home, and are typically organic. But a much less talked about benefit is that they are also a great way to reduce the demand for vegetables grown in far away places in greenhouses. The amount of plastic that’s used in greenhouses that are created for growing vegetables in Mediterranean countries is obscene and sadly so much of it ends up in the sea as it’s illegally dumped. Have a look at this quick clip, which summarises the issue at hand:

While ditching your plastic straw is wonderful, changing up where you source your veggies will have a much more meaningful impact. To make it super easy on yourself, why not get the veggies delivered to your door? Two schemes I have used in the past that operate pretty much nationwide are Abel & Cole and Riverford. Here’s a little more information on these options:

Abel & Cole

You can select small, medium, large, or super size, and can even choose an all British veg box.  A medium box includes 8 types of seasonal veg and is £16.50. I liked Abel & Cole because they also send along some great recipes which help you use veg you might not be as familiar with, like fennel. The company have expanded to offer a wide range of fish and meat, as well as dairy, bakery, and pantry items. Click here to find out more.

Riverford Organics

Offers small, medium or large boxes, on a weekly, fortnightly or as and when basis. You can also add meat, dairy, fruit, drinks and other food items. A medium box with 8 organic varieties, with potatoes and carrots or onions every week, plus a seasonal mix of other veg will fee 2-3 people / week and is £14.95. There are many ways to customise your box as well, and they even offer a fruit only option. Click here to find out more.

There are also many companies which offer delivery to their local areas only.

One that I came across in and around the Leicestershire area is Wonky Veg Boxes.  If you’re in or around London, check out the organic veg boxes by Planet Organic. Odd Box also deliver a box of wonky veg that would otherwise be discarded in and around the Big Smoke as well. Otherwise, have a look at the Soil Association’s directory of box schemes all over the UK or the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) directory.

Bottom line: switching up to more local, more seasonal produce will have a much bigger impact than many of the popular plastic free switches like ditching straws. While both are important, it’s better to make these more meaningful changes first. Getting your fruit and veg delivered cuts out a lot of plastic in your life, but also cuts back on the demand for greenhouse produced veg, which we now know is a leading source of microplastics in the Mediterranean.