I’ve been working on a Trashless Kingston page and wondering whether or not to include organic grocery delivery services. There are many. Some try to be mostly local and all claim to be making a smaller impact on the earth. Even David Suzuki talks about the benefit. I agree to some extent. If everyone usually drives to the grocery store alone, a delivery truck doing a whole route would be better. Plus the food is better for you and for the environment. But if you are someone who already walks or rides a bike to the farmers market to get your groceries-it may not be the best solution except in the winter.
My main beef (uhh carrot?) with these services is they are not conducive to being Trash Free (neither is David Suzuki though- his daughter is constantly pestering him about using Styrofoam coffee cups” bring a reusable mug Dad, come on!”) For the winter in Toronto, we had Front Door Organics. We liked them a lot at first and then it just ended up being too much surprise packaging (onion bags, carrot bags, sprouts in plastic clam shells )and they changed from being a friendly little company to a big mean company who left threatening emails if you forgot to put your box out, so we stopped. Then we went to Mama Earth organics who we loved even more. They were all the sweetest people on earth and the food was good. They tried really hard to be garbage free, and they gave me free chocolate and goodies because I left baking and notes in the box. I was sad to move away from them…. but there was still garbage created now and then.
Now we are in Kingston and we have started getting Desert Lake Gardens delivery. We got Styrofoam in the first batch, and this time the crackers I ordered come in a plastic wrap over cardboard and then inside that each 6 crackers is in plastic. I wish they had to say on the website exactly what the packaging was. On that note I wish packages is the store had to say on the package what the packing is (how much you can’t see, what the materials are etc. And again on that note (laaaaaa) why can manufacturers get away with labels like <natural butter flavour, and spices” What is that exactly? And why is there no label on grocery store bakery bread? I am very suspicious of it and wish we could make our own bread all the time. We have been trying but sometimes, like tonight, we just run out of time, so I pick up a loaf (in a plastic bag) and wonder, what the heck are we eating?
Getting back to the discussion (rant?) about grocery delivery services,
I realize It’s really hard to run a low impact business. If you look at it as a whole, they are doing really well. The soil and air are better for having grown organic. Our bodies are better for eating it. There is less packaging than you would have in a grocery store situation. They are focusing on local farmers as much as possible and cutting down carbon emissions by driving less. BUT if you focus on just garbage like we did for this project, delivery services fall short (so does focusing on just one thing, I admit). They are just not garbage free. I think the best bet would be a CSA but most of those don’t happen in the winter and that’s when we would need it. In the spring summer and fall, I can walk to the farmer’s market. It’s an enjoyable ritual for Aurora and I We can always see exactly what we are getting and talk to the farmers about it. Plus we can play in the fountain and buy a cookie. I think this year will be especially fun because now Aurora likes to ask what things are “this is?”