Package Free larder

“We need to respect the oceans as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.” Sylvia Earle

We are drowning in plastic – and as much as it is quite a daunting claim to start with, it’s important to realise we need to act on it and we need to act now.

Serena Cunsolo, a PhD student based at the University of Portsmouth, made that very clear during her opening talk at the launch of The Package Free Larder in Southsea Village on Monday, 25th March.

At our current rate of consumption, we have the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic being emptied into our seas every sixty seconds. Let that sink in. This is going to increase to double the amount by 2030. So what do we do?

Luckily for us we, as consumers, are powerful and can make a difference with our purchases. That is what The Package Free Larder project is all about – it’s giving us the opportunities as well as the information we need for a conscious choice of products, the remnants of which won’t burden the Earth years and years after we have gone.

From package-free hygiene products alternatives by both Wild Thyme and Refill and Replenish to amazing Antica bread and pasta produced locally and responsibly

It’s not a guilt trip, it’s an opportunity to get creative and encourage each other in the efforts of producing less waste, as Clare Seek from Plastic Free Portsmouth rightly pointed out. “You don’t have to do it all at once, just try and change one thing every month,” was her advice.

Boycotting single-use plastic is one way to go and it is one of the policies that has been a part of Daniel Nowland’s Southsea Deli since it opened last year. The business aims to cater to the community with food that’s produced ethically and independently, with a great focus on seasonal food – and does an amazing job at that. Daniel talks about how with evolution, the days of hunter-gatherers gave way to farming and led us to a point of great imbalance where it’s less than one percent of the whole population involved in food production left to feed the remaining 99. “We are also responsible for an informed choice when it comes to food consumption. A diet that better reflects what the planet can naturally produce and at a rate it can naturally produce it.”

Climate change and plastic pollution reports get more alarming day by day and it can easily slip into doom and gloom, which is understandable given the impact of what we’re collectively facing, but there are alternatives and The Package Free Larder is one of them as it brings together different suppliers of zero waste products. For example, among other things, Refill and Replenish offer balms and coconut oil-based deodorants in packaging that you can return for reuse. Sustainable alternatives to cosmetics and hygiene products that have an essential role in an average consumer’s every-day life are one answer to the microbeads adding to the problem of microplastics that builds up in the food chain and eventually ends up on our plates.

It’s not until you take a closer look that you realise how intertwined with plastic we are, literally. We are asked to make compromises, to give up daily comforts that could be replaced with sustainable alternatives and this challenge needs to be taken on with collective effort. It simply isn’t someone else’s problem, it never has been, and we need to stop treating it like one.

To launch their project, the team behind The Package Free Larder is seeking supporting from within the Southsea community through crowdfunding, volunteering or simply spreading the word – do your bit. Get in touch through their social media (listed below) or directly through their website 

Photos Via The package Free Larder

By Barbora Vaclavova