There are certain things in the supermarket isles that appear to be packaged to death. ‘Fresh’ fruit vacuum sealed despite already coming with a natural protective layer, or crackers wrapped in plastic and then also packaged in a cardboard box. In comparison there are some things that on the surface don’t seem to have excess packaging, like milk or eggs, however at the end of the day packaging is still packaging, especially when it’s plastic. But they have to be kept in something right?
However the plastic bottles that milk comes in still constitute as waste, waste that’s destroying our environment at an alarming rate, and it’s not something you can easily reuse so at the end of the day it’ll still end up in the bin.
But there is a way to cut down on even this kind of waste, and that’s to go old school with it.
A few days ago my mum was visited by a milkman from our local dairy. That’s right daily milk deliveries are still a thing, and they do more than just deliver milk. We’ve signed up for both a milk delivery and an egg delivery to start out with. There are also plenty of other options such as orange juice, broken biscuits and compost that you can have delivered at the same time. The best part about this, other than supporting your local businesses and not giving all of your money to massive multinational corporations, is that all of the packaging gets reused!
Take the milk for example, it’s just like you see in the old movies, it comes in little glass bottles which you leave on the doorstep, which the milkman takes to be refilled when he comes to deliver your next set. The boxes that the eggs are delivered in can also be left with the empty milk bottles to be reused. This is also a great way to avoid excess, you sign up for a certain amount of deliveries each week, it’s easy to change if you realise you’re not using as much as you’ve ordered, and if you go away you leave a note in the empty bottle asking to skip a delivery. This also means that its a few less things that you need to think about when you do your food shopping. No going to the store and then realising that you’ve forgot to get milk once you’ve lugged all of that shopping home.
Also something you may find surprising is that the price isn’t all that different from supermarket milk, we pay 75p for a pint of milk which we have delivered twice a week. You also have the added advantage of knowing exactly where your food is coming from. Supermarkets most often get their milk from large dairy chains which utilise massive herds that are often kept in crowded conditions. Local dairy’s and farms are often smaller scale and due to this have a higher incentive to look after their herds. Your food is also much more likely to be fresh as it hasn’t travelled as far as some of the supermarket stock.
Also as someone who is lactose intolerant I have found that they provide milk alternatives, such as soya milk, these also come in reusable glass bottles. However substitutes such as rice milk and almond milk are currently not available, but these are relatively easy to make at home which would also help to solve the packaging issue. If anyone is interested in a good milk substitute recipe then leave a comment and I’ll make a post on how to soon. The fact that my local dairy doesn’t offer these substitutes doesn’t mean that your local dairy won’t, and if more people ask for it then the more likely it will be that dairy’s and farms are to see this as a viable option for them to offer in the future.
Why not contact your local dairy or if you live in the country like me, your local dairy and surrounding farms, and see if you can sign up for regular fresh deliveries.