Everybody deserves a rest day, even the zero -wasters of this world. So each Sunday I will be posting a super-simple switch that you can make to accelerate your journey to a zero-waste home. And the most obvious name for this series is of course ‘Simple-switch Sundays’.
This week: Garlic
While it is always very important to keep a bulb of garlic on hand for those vampire emergencies (and okay maybe the odd culinary use), it is equally as important to make sure that vampire fighting doesn’t add anything to your landfill bin.
Luckily its very easy to be a zero-waste vampire fighter with a quick grocery switch.
All you have to do is to switch your supermarket bought garlic bulbs for farm-shop or farmers market garlic and instantly eliminate single-use non-recyclable plastic packaging in the process.
The picture below shows the garlic I bought from my local supermarket two weeks ago and a bulb that I bought from my local farm shop this week.
The supermarket didn’t stock any loose garlic at all, which frustrates me immensely as the packaging is clearly not there to extend the shelf-life of the product and it also means that I am locked in to buying three bulbs of garlic, getting you to buy more product than you actually need is a common waste-causing tactic from the supermarkets that only care about profit and not waste.
We usually do not use enough garlic at home to justify buying three bulbs and inevitably some of the cloves will sprout and rot before we get around to using them! I do plant sprouted garlic cloves in my garden and the rotten ones go in the compost but this is still an incredible waste of all the resources that went into growing, packaging and transporting these items.
However, the farm shop saved the day yet again; the garlic from the farm shop was exactly as nature intended it to be: package-less and beautiful.
I am aware that other forms of garlic are available such as ‘very lazy garlic’ which is pre-chopped garlic in a glass jar, this is a great alternative to bringing home the plastic-wrapped garlic and should keep for longer than a bulb of garlic.
However, garlic will flavour a dish differently depending on whether it is chopped or crushed and I prefer to have the option of chopping or crushing it myself, hence I buy fresh garlic.
I am ultimately working towards growing all my own garlic in my garden (from the bulbs that sprout in my fridge and from seed) – which of course is the most environmentally friendly option, as the food miles are zero!
If you have a garden that you can plant some garlic in then I highly encourage this option, and while you are waiting for your garlic to grow then head down to your local farm shop or farmers market to get some lovely loose plastic-free garlic.
Featured image photo credit: © 2012 Azzah B.A.