Changing The World One Pantry At A Time

Posted by on May 28, 2015

 “A wasteless pantry is more than being about waste. It is about living a sustainable, simpler and easier existence; filing your life only with those good things you choose.”

Amanda and Jeannie Wasteless Pantry


Introducing Amanda who, along with her business partner Jeannie, are adding the final touches to their new store the Wasteless Pantry which will be enjoying its grand opening on the 1st June 2015.

The Wasteless Pantry is set to be the little ‘Green Hub’ of Mundaring, offering so much more than just fresh, wholesome pantry ingredients. Amanda and Jeannie are encouraging a shift towards a sustainable community by offering their customers wholesome, waste free options, supporting local events and business, giving tips and advice on ways to live simply, declutter and are encouraging change by walking-the-talk with their wasteless philosophy across all shopping experiences in their area.

Here are some of their wasteless suggestions for you to consider…

CWMS Where did the idea for the Wastless Pantry stem from?
WP 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 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. When we approached a few retailers it became clear 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.

CWMS What are the advantages individuals would benefit from by adapting a wasteless shopping routine?

  • No. 1 Time Saving – you need to be more organised with your shopping which reduces unnecessary trips to the store. When you arrive home the container goes straight into the cupboard which also means less time wasted taking the packaging out to the bin!
  • Quality not quantity – simply decide whether you are after cashews or almonds, there are no time consuming choices around choosing which brand of products.
  • Money Saving – only buying the amount you need.
  • Encourages healthier eating and inspiration to cook at home – personally when I go shopping for ingredients, rather than products, I find I’m much more willing to experiment with my cooking. This brings fun back into the kitchen and reduces the need for turning to take-a-way.
  • Last but not by any means lest – the feel good experience of doing the best you can for the environment by reducing waste.

CWMS Sounds like the Wasteless Pantry is going to be more than just a place to stock up on quality kitchen ingredients. What experience can your customers expect to enjoy every time they visit your store?
WP We have started this store from a place of wanting to create a community that supports waste minimisation.  We offer advice and information to those interested, but mainly it is about role modelling how to live less wastefully.  We are the Mums sending our kids to school with a ’naked lunchbox’, arrive at courses with our hankies and stainless steel water bottles or, the friends who turn up with morning tea in a container rather than in plastic wrap or packaging.  We understand how hard it can be some days to avoid all the rubbish and make the small changes.

The wide range of goods have been sourced locally and as free from packaging and waste as possible. Our intention is to minimise the exposure to chemicals in the products’ ethical sourcing and production.  The store will always be clean and hygienic, our team friendly and interested and you can take as much time as you need. We aim to know our customers by name not by their loyalty card.

CWMS You are quite passionate about eliminating single-use packaging, why is this an important habit you are encouraging people to take on board?
WP Yes I am quite passionate about this. Jeannie and I have been learning so much on the Earth Carers course we are doing and it has really reinforced both how wasteful our society has become and how limited recycling is in addressing this.  Having now seen landfill in person, it really brings home just how much the 1.5M tonnes of waste WA households produce every year, actually is (around about 1.6 tonnes per household). We are only recycling about 20-39% of our goods, so that’s a lot of resources, money and pollution to create something which is going to be thrown away.  So much effort goes into waste management that could be avoided or reduced if we just made a few easy choices at the beginning.
Prevention is better than the cure!
Think bring your own containers, produce bags, reusable drink bottles and shopping bags as easy ideas to get started.

CWMS Sourcing local ingredients is one of the fundamental principles of the Wasteless Pantry. Why is this important to you and your business and why should consumers be considering adopting this criteria during their regular shopping routines?
WP Going local was really the start of my journey toward zero waste. When you become aware of just how far your food has to travel to get to you, you start to question is it really worth it. Does that orange from USA really taste better in summer than our local stone fruits?  I think sometimes we underestimate the impact our choices can have.  As one person you might think it doesn’t matter and, the overseas ‘stuff’ might be a few cents cheaper however, your extra few cents by buying local means so much.  Not to mention local produce is usually fresher, tastier (as it’s been harvested at its peak) and doesn’t need as many chemicals in its production since it won’t have to store/travel as the imported alternative has.

CWMS Lastly what advice do you have for readers who are wanting to adapt the idea of ‘bring your own’ container to a store or area where this routine is breaking new territory?
WP Be brave! Most retailers won’t even blink an eyelid at produce bags so maybe start there.  Once you are feeling confident from this then branch out into taking a container to the deli section, butcher or bulk food places.  You’ll be surprised by the positive comments you get from most people and really, the worst thing that can happen, is someone says ‘No’.  At the very start I rang places before I visited to see if they would be on board and then regularly went to those places to build my confidence further.  Now I am more willing to help ‘train’ my favourite retailers.

The process is simple – give your container to the retailer to tare (adjusts the scales to remove the weight of your container from your purchase), tell them how much product you want, they will then measure this on the scale, pop on your lid and you are good to go.  Take containers that are easy to fill and easy for your retailer to put the lid on firmly.  Anything that is fiddly is going to make the process cumbersome and off putting for both of you.

Just try it out and always think of small steps you can make rather than radical overhauls – aim for getting to know what works best for you.

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Amanda and I met in Perth at the Less Is More Festival and, although I cannot be there in person to show my support for the Wasteless Pantry, I am as proud as punch to be sharing her and Jeannie’s story through CWMS. I wish them all the success in the world as they embark on extending their Positive Impact to Mundaring and beyond.

To read more about the Wasteless Pantry and for updates on their wasteless living tips you can follow this link directly to their website or contact Amanda and Jeannie directly on:

Now it is your turn – the CWMS community would love to hear how you have implemented wastefree shopping into your grocery shopping routine. Do you have a regular bulk suppliers you use or is this a new concept you are perhaps keen to explore in your local area?

Love to have you join the conversation

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– Shea

P.S. All photo credits go to the Wasteless Pantry and their photographer Sabine Pollock

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