Think simple. Think ahead. Precycle

10 Aug

August seems like the perfect month to focus on food – in Saskatoon anyway – the farmers market stalls are full and lush, berries are plentiful and local menus are adventurous!  And today we wanted to tell you about a new kind of store we heard about starting in the US this fall.

The goal isn’t to be negative but to be compelling. We can be smarter, simpler.

For those of you living in Austin Texas – here is something to look forward to in the coming months.  And for the rest of us – keep reading and tell us if you have a similar set up in your town…

How it works:
Reducing waste while eating foods that are good for the body and earth can seem impractical.

Our goal is to reduce waste by ditching packaging altogether. Instead of recycling packaging that’s already been produced, we’re “precycling” it before it’s even made – proving that most food packaging is unnecessary.

We want the community we serve to help determine our ethos – and to define what “package-free” and “zero-waste” should actually mean at our store. Package-free and zero-waste are new frontiers in the grocery industry, so we’re pioneers on a relatively untravelled trail and need feedback / accountability from our customer base as we try to define new norms for the future of groceries.

We have priorities for our business which collectively make up our ethos:

Reduce, reuse
There’s no waste in nature. Waste is a human invention. As good stewards of our environment, our top priority is to reduce the amount of waste we produce and reuse what we have. Being package-free radically limits our waste generation. Our business will be waste free; your home can be waste free too.

Sourcing our food locally is extremely important. By buying and selling locally, we can stimulate the local economy and reduce the energy being used to transport food from region to region.

We’ll limit your choices based on what’s in season – a new but very old idea. While we’ve come to enjoy the omniscient availability of every kind of produce, having produce that’s out of season here shipped in from the Southern Hemisphere is costly and wasteful.

Organic – Natural
No matter the case, real, natural food will always be healthier than food that’s been chemically modified. We promise to carry organic food whenever possible. When carrying an organic item isn’t possible, we require the item to be natural, without any artificial flavorings or preservatives.

By buying food that’s package-free, you have control over how much you buy. Too often, food is wasted due to the size of its package; why buy two pounds when you need just half a pound? Portion control reduces waste.

Education and community
Our business model isn’t the silver bullet that will spawn a colossal effort to reduce waste by changing the packaging industry. Rather, we hope to teach our community how just a few simple changes to the way we live can reduce waste and promote a better environment. Whether it’s a demonstration at a local farmer’s market or an afternoon spent teaching kids at one of Austin’s elementary schools, we hope to be active in fostering a more sustainable community.

Giving Back
We plan to give our customers the option to allocate a portion of their purchases to a charity we’re involved with. We’re social capitalists; we operate a for-profit business that benefits others, and give our customers a chance to participate.

in.gredients Video – Full Version (2:05).

Read more about in.gredients on their website – and check out their FAQs to see if there is anything else you think they should be considering…



2 Responses to “Think simple. Think ahead. Precycle”

  1. Lori Wolff May 4, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Does your store try to work with local supermarkets to encourage them to be as green as you? So many stores have a huge amount of food waste which is tossed in their dumpsters. This waste not only includes food but the packaging it comes in. There are so many shelters and food pantries that could benefit from their ‘donation’ of food. Why is it acceptable to toss when someone else could benefit? I’m glad I learned about your vision. I voted for you to receive the $5,000 grant from Green America. Good luck.

    • nowastewednesdays May 6, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Wow – Thank you Lori! NWW is honored by your vote. Feel free to suggest topics you’d like us to research on here!

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