When I first started researching my closest bulk food stores and local farmers markets, I soon realised that my choices were pretty limited. They are either located in the city, on the coast or country towns. The problem here is that I live roughly in between Brisbane City and the Sunshine Coast, in the suburbs, which is a little inconvenient for someone wanting to live more sustainably.  



At first, I told myself I would drive the 40 minutes to my nearest The Source Bulk Foods store, but honestly, that was never going to happen.  So instead, I decided to look a little deeper into the places around me.  I checked out my local Wrays Organics and found they sell food products in bulk, along with my local Coles Supermarket.  Kira Simpson, founder of The Green Hub, recently put together a blog post about “Tips for Shopping Sustainably at Coles or Woolworths” and she made the point that not everyone lives in a country town or in a city near a farmer’s market and buying from the “Big Two” is often the only option available at the time – which is the case for me.


I also have a couple of eco health stores in my local shopping centre (The Health Shop and Healthy Life), which have now become my go to places for eco friendly goods, including tooth brushes, make up and Loving Earth chocolate – a guilty pleasure!


I think it’s important to be a realist and understand that it’s not always cute Sunday markets and vegan cafes – in an ideal world maybe it would be, but these sexier options are not always accessible.  As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t have many options when it comes to shopping sustainably and the majority of the time, I have to make the best use of my local Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. Shopping in organic food stores and health shops can also be quite expensive and I think it is just as important to be economically sustainable and live within my means, as it is to be environmentally sustainable.  


Voting with my dollar is definitely a strategy I’ve adopted when shopping in the suburbs and I’ve accepted that I have to make the most of the places I have access to. With the growing sustainability movement and customer preference, we will see more eco friendly options appear on the shelves of our major supermarkets as well as more accessible farmer’s markets and bulk food stores in suburban areas.

Lauren GrimshawComment