Food Lover’s Market Survey

For many months now I have been having some great conversations with the Earth Lover’s team at Food Lover’s Market. Earth Lover’s is their sustainability development programme, and you can find out more about that on their website.

They are so enthusiastic to do what they can to reduce their packaging and offer more choice. I was so pleased to hear they there also put a lot of energy into reducing the “back office” waste, things that we as customers do not see. They are also researching some cool ways of making shopping packaging free easy for all. So a big round of applause to the Earths Lover’s team.

My words not theirs ….. Whilst they would love to offer a vast range of unpackaged goods, we need to remember, we are (currently) the minority. They are a business and whilst they are doing their best environmentally, they do need to make money. We also need to remember that getting store processes and staff trained on new ways is not a simple overnight process, even if we might think it is. We still need to act with patience, respect, kindness and patience. I said patience twice on purpose!

So Food Lover’s have offered to do a trial run in three of their stores. Hillfox in Gauteng, and Tokai and Somerset West in the Cape.

There is a Facebook post for each store. We are looking for feedback from people who currently, or would shop at any one of those stores. Each area has different customers, with different needs, we need to match these up otherwise it will not work!

What foods would you like to see unpackaged? Specifically referring to dispenser products? Grains, cereals, pulses, snacks, oils, condiments, honeys etc etc.

Click on your relevant store and comment on the Facebook post that the link takes you to. Please do make any friends and family in those areas aware of the survey! Send them the link or tag them.  If this is successful, Food Lover’s will roll out to their other stores.

Somerset W Waste Free

Tokai Waste Free

Hillfox Waste Free

Some things to consider when doing your shopping.

Tip #1: Take reusable shopping bags

Tip #2: You do not need to use those thin plastic barrier bags for everything.  Just place items loose in your trolley to be weighed at the till.

Tip #3: Take your own reusable produce weigh bags, such as, or make your own out of lightweight fabric

Tip #4: Take your own containers to be filled, just remember to ask the staff to tare your container first so you do not pay for the weight of your container.

Tip #5: Be patient with those around you.  Many people do not yet understand the problems with plastics, or the benefits of having containers refilled. If there is a queue, remember taring can sometimes take a bit longer whilst people are learning, so maybe let another customer go ahead of you.


  1. Oh my word! This has made me so excited!!!! I can’t stop smiling! I have been doing my monthly shop at Hillfox Food Lovers Market for almost 5 years now, but have been making excuses as to why I can’t take bottles and containers to shop with, so have limited my ‘zero waste’ shopping experience to reusable bags and buying meat in bulk packs (not zero waste at all). This post is challenging me to take the plunge and actually live my convictions. Thank you so much Colleen.

    Also thank you for making a zero waste life style seem possible and within reach in South Africa. I find it so easy to say, ‘Oh but that’s only in America or Australia’. Keep up the amazing work!


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