A column about the small and simple changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint and save money too.

How green is your weekly shop?

Since supermarkets started charging for plastic bags in 2015 there has been a 98% drop in use. Progress! But we can go much further.

How green is your local supermarket?

ASDA claims that 88% of its own label packaging is recyclable and that it has increased its instore refill zones, where unpackaged goods are cheaper than the packaged equivalent. It also opened its first sustainability/refill trial store at Middleton, Leeds.

Morrisons in Guiseley offers a wide-ranging refill options.

Sainsbury’s has pledged to cut plastic packaging by 50% by 2025, whilst 86% of Waitrose’s own brand packaging is either reusable, recyclable or home compostable.

But these steps don’t go far enough!

What can we do now?

• Support local shops! Independent shops in Otley such as ‘Like Nana Did’ have pioneered zero packaging and a low carbon approach to food and household products. Did you know you can buy everything from refillable floor cleaner and dishwashing powder to olive oil and peanut butter? Many of our small shops like Simon & Becky’s, Menna Tansy Pearl, and O’Fresh also use less packaging than supermarkets.

• Remember your Bag for Life. Save on plastic (and the accompanying charge) when supermarket shopping by taking your own. Buy stronger tote bags which last longer from local charities, businesses or artists, also offering them financial support.

• Travel on foot or by bike. The lowest carbon way to shop! Otley is so small, this is an option for many. Bikes with panniers or a basket upfront are ideal for shopping. E bikes and e cargo bikes are also very low carbon if you want help up a hill.

• Request bike racks. One or two of our local supermarkets, such as Waitrose or Asda, could help by offering space for cyclists, ideally near to the store entrance.

If you make one change this week, save on plastic packaging and money by shopping local!

To find out more about Otley 2030, go to www.otley2030.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @otley2030