Save Food Save Earth – Innovative Business Models
All round the globe, a new age of low-impact grocery stores, cafes, and micro-businesses are changing the way we do business. A concerted movement to save food, reduce waste and to save money has been born. Many are motivating us to reconsider just how we shop and how we eat. They are also encouraging us to reconnect with our community and to consider the impacts of our buying choices.
The leaders behind these grassroots ventures are looking for brand-new financial models. Ones that champion neighbourhood, are inclusive regardless of income or other demographic, and also swap meaningless consumerism for compassion as well as empathy. Based on the principles of no or little waste, transparency, accountability and community, these new models are causing quite a stir.
Even legislators are getting in on the act. In Scotland there is a mandatory charge for any packaging – it is no longer given out for free at the till. This created a drop in plastic bag usage of 80%.
Taken together, these models have the potential to make a massive positive Global impact.
Save Food Save Earth – Examples
The big British supermarkets throw away upwards of 115,000 tonnes of unsold food annually. At the same time many people are struggling to feed themselves. They are having to turn to food banks to provide food for the family. In the USA dairy farmers are throwing out 43 million gallons of milk. Read the news and there are plenty of other examples across the globe. Crazy, right?
An impressive project tackling the issue of wasted food is the Real Junk Food Project, started by Adam Smith. His project, redirecting and using tonnes of unwanted food, started a global movement. According to their website, they are:
With the mission to not just feed the homeless, but to feed everyone, their model doesn’t even stop there. In fact, anyone can set up a Pay as You Feel Cafe and the Real Junk Food Project provides a Starter Pack which gives a guide for anyone thinking about about starting a Pay As You Feel cafe. With no one-size-fits-all method, it’s very flexible and can allow many different variations.
Another example of ethical businesses disrupting “business as usual” includes crowdfunded no waste grocery store Original Unverpackt in Berlin, Germany. They don’t just minimise packaging, they take things a step further. Whatever they sell – from soap, wine, pasta, tooth paste, and so on – is waste-free.
So, how does it work? Becoming part of the zero-waste movement means we have to change our habits too, naturally. It requires some pre-thought and planning. You have to bring re-usable bags and containers – which you could buy but that negates your contribution to zero-waste – so the best option is to re-use things you already have at home – recycled packaging and boxes, empty jam or pickle jars, empty drinks containers, old linens to carry bigger items. The list is endless. You then take your products home in your recycled (or purpose bought) containers and carriers.
Shop Local to Save Food Save Earth
How else can we save food and save earth? Perhaps the key is also community shopping. In the age of on-line buying as well as self-service check-outs, mainstream supermarkets and high streets to a certain degree, have ended up becoming charmless with less choice of fresh healthy food available. The local bakery and the local butcher, for example, have sadly become a thing of the past in many towns and city districts. At the Save the Earth Cooperative we believe that it is possible to rejuvenate local communities by starting food initiatives to bring inexpensive, quality, and organic foods back to the high street. This in turn will increase social worth and also reinforce neighbourhoods.
Whether it be an organic bakery, a pay-as-you-feel cafe, a microbrewery, a farmer’s market stall or something entirely different, if you would like to set up an ethical food business, join the Save the Earth Cooperative and benefit from our access to resources and funding to get the food revolution in full swing! – save food
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