Saturday, 29 July 2017

My first visit to Earth Food Love - Totnes zero waste shop

Earth Food Love in Totnes 
I've been wanting to make another trip to Totnes since I heard about a new wholefood shop that had set up in the town. It's right up the top of the High Street. Earth Food Love is a family-run organic, wholefoods, zero-waste shop whose owners 'want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth! Focusing on creating a better future, they decided to look back to the past, where eating real food with minimal packaging was normal practice. They believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet's too.' Plastic Free July was the perfect time for my first visit so I am glad I made it there before the month ran out.

The basic Earth Food Love idea is that everything in sold loose by weight and customers take in their own tubs / jars / bottles for self-service refilling. There is a good range of dry products including oats and rices, pulses and dried fruits, spices and teas. I could also have refilled oils and even laundry products.

The shop staff are friendly and helpful and the system is very easy once it had been explained!
First I popped each empty container on a scale and marked their weights with a provided white pen.
Then I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the choice of foods available! (I only actually needed oats, dates and arborio rice.)
I positioned each container in turn under the spout of choice and gingerly raised the lever. I was surprised by how fast the oats came flying out!
My rice jar was narrower than the spout, so I used a provided metal funnel. Earth Food Love have thought of everything!
When I had found all I needed, I took my filled containers to the till and paid.

Earth Food Love prices are very reasonable, cheaper than anywhere I've found in Torquay, and I got a real sense of satisfaction from buying good organic food with no packaging waste. Plus this shop is great fun. There was a good atmosphere there this afternoon with several of us crammed in learning the ropes. The bulk buy idea is popular in French health shops like the BioCoop chain which we use when caravanning over there, but I've not seen anywhere encouraging customers to bring their own refill containers before.

The only problem for me is that Totnes isn't the easiest place to get to from Torquay. It's not that far in miles, but seems a long drive for the distance and parking isn't always easy. I think going by bus is probably my best bet. The £5 return bus fare would eat up all my savings, but if I go on a day when I am already buying a Torbay Day Rider to get somewhere else then it would effectively be a free trip. I just need to get organised so enough of my jars need refilling around the same time.

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