Hello there! Long time to see.
I moved flats a month and a half ago, and this has changed my habits. I live in the same area, so have access to all the same shops as before. However, my new flatmates have a new way of doing things, which I hadn’t anticipated. In all my previous flats, each person bought their own food. Some things were shared (teabags, milk, etc), but for the most part each person was in charge of their own “stocks”. In this flat, however, everyone contributes to a kitty and we all share the bought food.
This does mean, however, that I don’t feel comfortable continuing the zero-waste lifestyle in this context. How could I justify imposing my methods to the other three people? How can I justify spending more than necessary (even if it is justifiable, in my eyes), when we all share the costs? We all have different budgets for food, depending on our priorities, tastes, lifestyles, and dietary habits. I don’t want to upset the balance this flat already has, and have melded in to their way of living for now.
After a year of zero waste, I’m also rediscovering a lot of joy in small things. I have been strict about what I buy, and have deprived myself of quite a lot of things I love, because they are not available in bulk where I live, and because I don’t have the time to make them myself. For example, pasta has been making me very happy!
There are still some things that this flat buys in bulk: laundry/dishwasher liquids and oils, for one. Today’s bulk shop:
Sadly, the dishwasher liquid is not refillable, so we will use the tub as a food tupperware.
So I guess my mission from now on is to actually do the long-awaited maths to see what items of food are cheeper bought as bulk, or as packaged. Thus some stuff can still be bought package-free, to the advantage of everyone involved….