Plastic-packaged cucumbers

05 Mar 2019

Blogger Nastia, from Ukraine, is always trying to find ways to make her life greener and more sustainable. For Vox, she will blog about going green in Nijmegen. In this blog: let's talk about food!

Let’s talk about food. The main source of waste in this era of plastic-packaged cucumbers. We won’t go into the details of how certain diets are less sustainable than others, instead let’s focus on how you can avoid waste while living your student life here in Nijmegen. Now, unlike other countries, it is tough to get things in bulk and unpackaged in the Netherlands, but there are quite a few work-arounds that you might want to check out!

The market
This is probably the cheapest option of getting all your vegetables, bread, cheese etc. without packaging. Every Saturday, from Grote Markt to Valkhof park there are quite a few stands you can hit with your reusable bags to stock up for the week. Monday is also market day, although there are not as many vegetable stalls then. Also on the downside – not all vegetables are unpacked, so keep that in mind if you are looking for like broccoli or cucumbers.

On the more expensive side, but there are a lot of options, including grains and nuts in biodegradable packaging and beverages in glass bottles. Also they claim to prioritize sourcing local – definitely a big plus.

Ethnic shops
Prices vary, but it’s quite possible to get a 5 kg bag of rice from that local Asian supermarket or get fresh greens without packaging. Some of the stores even have unpackaged tofu! I honestly think this is a goldmine for various products from veggies to spices to oils in large quantities and at an affordable price. Perhaps this even deserves a separate post with a ranking of the best ethnic stores in Nijmegen in the coming time.

Loose tea/coffee/oils
An easy switch to make is to start buying loose tea and coffee. While depending on your coffee intake habits that could be quite pricey, teas seem to be even cheaper to buy if you bring your own container. On Lange Hezelstraat there are two shops where you can do that: Het Theezaakje and Simon Levelt Koffie en Thee.

These are only a few options that are not difficult to manage as a student in Nijmegen, but maybe you’ve figured out your own solutions and would like to share them!

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