Last week I discovered a little gem of a shop held in the Methodist Church on Jeune Street, just off the Cowley Road, OX4. It was really quite a wonderful surprise to stumble across this incredibly environmentally considerate outfit.
Sesi (School Ethical Supplies Initiative) Food and Household are what they call a ‘refill station’ of local organic fair-trade food and eco-friendly household cleaning products. The idea is that you bring your own reusable containers, and fill up with the exact quantity of food or product that you require.
This means that if you want just 100g of cashews or quinoa for example you can have just that. Or if a recipe calls for 80g of dried borlotti beans you can buy just what you need, and no need to purchase more.
By reducing packaging and therefore minimising plastic waste, it means that Sesi can offer great organic and fair-trade products at very reasonable prices. Furthermore, by buying the exact quantity you need, often at the same price as it would cost to buy in bulk, there’s no unnecessary waste which is better for the planet as well as your pocket. It’s a fantastic scheme that I wish more shops would offer.
One of the most serious threats to our oceans is plastics pollution. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. Unlike other types of rubbish, plastic is not biodegradable. Instead, it photo-degrades with sunlight, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, which never really disappear. These plastic pieces are then eaten by marine life, washed up on beaches, or broken down into microscopic plastic dust, attracting more debris.
Here’s some plastic facts that might shock you….
- 50 percent of plastic is used just once before being throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce.
- More than one million plastic bags are used every minute.
- The majority of plastic bags are not recycled and instead sit in landfills.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in California, is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
- One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals including turtles are killed every year from plastic in our oceans.
- More than 1.6 billion gallons of oil are used each year to make plastic bags.
If we could just say no to plastic bags we would be slowing down the waste in landfill sites, save billions of animals from dying and stop the depletion of the Worlds oil reserves.
I think the Sesi team are doing a fantastic job at getting the ball rolling on this mammoth task. It’s important to remember that we can all do our bit to help save the environment as well as our pennies. I’m certainly going to make a concerted effort to carry my re-usable bags with me at all times.
SESI, School Ethical Supplies Initiative info
Sesi sells ethical dried goods, Ecover/BioD refills, organic lentils in bulk, fairtrade chocolate, tins, gluten-free pasta, local and gluten free whole foods refills etc. You can order via the order forms on the website (www.sesi.org.uk) and pick up or just pop into this handy new shop and see what they have in store.
Opening hours: Depot at Jeune Street Methodist Church open Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm. Home deliveries Mon 7-9pm, also to be found at East Ox Farmers Market on 1st & 3rd Saturdays and Wolvercote Farmers Market 2nd Sunday of the month, and at the Gloucester Green Farmers Market on Wednesdays too.