Keen to learn more about Wasteless Pantry? We chat to Amanda about her new shop in Perth. It is an exciting time for the shop with an opening day set for 1 June 2015.
Tell us about the business?
Wasteless Pantry is a package free pantry goods store focused on sustainable sourcing and retailing. We see ourselves as a social enterprise rather than a profit driven venture as we are really interested in skilling the community to minimize their waste, no matter where they shop.
What prompted you to set it up?
Jeannie and I were both concerned about the environment and after we read the book “Zero Waste Home” by Bea Johnson we knew there was so much more that we could be doing. We started adopting more and more suggestions to reduce our waste, however were struck by the lack of wasteless shopping options locally. We started car pooling and driving around 45 minutes to options in other areas. It wasn’t long before we realised that this was not sustainable and we longed for someone to make it easier for us to be able to shop the way we wanted much closer to home. When we approached a few retailers locally it became clear that they weren’t going to provide this service for us so if we really wanted to live a wasteless lifestyle we would have to do it ourselves.
What sets the business apart?
What sets us apart is that we are almost completely package free. The only disposable you can access from us is paper bags to put your goods in and even those we would prefer customers weren’t using! We strongly encourage customers to bring their own containers and we are working with suppliers to minimize the packaging required to get goods to the store. We have one supplier on board already who is happy to keep refilling the same container that we return to them, further reducing waste. We are not discouraging recycling but believe that prevention is much better than the cure with waste. Especially since we have just found out that glass in WA is recycled into road base rather than more jars and bottles! It just doesn’t seem like a good use of resources to us – reusing what you have saves money, resources, energy and pollution – all good things!!
What eco practices are incorporated into daily business?
There are lots of little things that we will be doing to be as sustainable as possible such as not using price stickers, using paper tape labels rather than plastic tapes, using refillable markers to label glass, refusing to stock plastic bags in store at all, using environmentally friendly cleaners and emailing customers receipts as needed rather than printing it out just to be thrown away. On the bigger side of things we will be working with suppliers to minimize packaging, increase locally and ethically sourced goods as well as trying to build relationships with local organic providers who are able to meet our other needs as well.
Tell me more about your family life.
I am a wife and Mum to two beautiful boys, Trey (6) and Eli (2). We live on a 5-acre property in the hills with 4 sheep, 4 chickens, 2 birds and a cat. We make most of our food from scratch and I’m keen on baking bread, rolls and pizza. We have homemade pizza and a movie almost every Friday night and we all look forward to it. My kids complain sometimes about not having things in packets but for the most part seem happy with our wasteless life. I’ve even convinced them to use hankies instead of tissues! We are fortunate to have a rain water tank, solar panels, a decent sized vegie patch and some fruit trees that are yet to be all that productive but it’s all a work in progress. We try not to be too busy most of the time but life is definitely full in the lead up to the store opening.
What tips do you have for a family wanting to create a wasteless pantry at home?
- Start small.
- Just do one step at a time until it is a habit.
- Get support from anyone you know who is interested whether in person or online.
- Really simple things can make the biggest impact like bringing your own containers, pantry shopping (ie use what you already have first), meal planning, shopping lists, cooking from scratch and creating a shopping kit that is always ready to go.
Person: Amanda Welschbillig
Business: Wasteless Pantry
Shop address: Shop 17, Mundaring Shopping Village, Mundaring WA 6073