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The Buyerarchy of Needs

I love this image, it popped up on the Journey to Zero Waste in the UK Facebook group today and I immediately went looking for it’s origin.

The discussion was about using existing plastic containers and whether we should be doing that if we are following a zero-waste lifestyle. The person who posted the image, rightly said that getting rid of the plastic didn’t feel right when there was nothing wrong with the container and being on a tight budget as many of us are, it felt an unecessary cost.

This is an important point. You don’t need to have a Pinterest style kitchen to be following a zero-waste lifestyle. I recently wrote about Practicing what you Preach with regards to sorting out my kitchen at home and tidying out the larder. I did talk about going and buying some more jars for things like spices and flour but to be honest, if I’d had enough already I wouldn’t have bothered.

Infact whilst the little jars I bought look really pretty, they are all sat in a black plastic tray that contained 5lb of cherry tomatoes I bought to dehydrate from the veggie stall on Morecambe Market.


I had loads of other spice jars and small jam jars that have also been repurposed and if they were already in a jar, I just left them there unless I had more than one jar of them and those got consolidated together.

I also have a huge collection of tupperware, plastic takeaway tubs, ice cream boxes etc. The tupperware I’ve had for over 20 years in some cases. They get used over and over again for storing leftovers and things I’ve made in bulk in the freezer. They get used until usually they’ve been in there a bit too long and shatter in the cold. Then they get recycled.

I’ve always repurposed decent sized jam jars for stuff, at one point I had so many jam jars, I had to stop collecting them. We have a little outdoor cupboard at the side of the house that is full of honey jars, I’ve not been in there for a few years as the door on it is pretty ropey. It’s on my to-do list to clear and sort out.

We all want a pretty picture perfect home and it often feels like clearing the decks and starting again is the right thing to do but we need to remember that doing the right thing sometimes means that we make a compromise. Even me when I get a bit giddy in IKEA looking at all the pretty glass jars!

I’m going to finish with another of Sarah Lazarovic images, I think it’s probably key to the right way of thinking about this whole process.

Do the Right Things by Sarah Lazarovic


The Buyerarchy of Needs

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