It is more popular than ever to shop sustainably, with an increase in environmental knowledge people are looking at ways they can reduce their waste. Amsterdam ranks fifth on the Green City Index of European capitals and therefore is the perfect example where you can shop with an eco-conscious attitude. Whether you are visiting Amsterdam or a local, here is a guide of 5 ways in which you can shop sustainably!
Visit the markets!
Yes it's an obvious one but there are so many great markets in Amsterdam that provide a range of fresh produce. From the Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp to the Noordermarkt – Boerenmarkt, you can find yourself an abundance of locally sourced food including meat, fish, fruit and veg. Buying from your local farmers helps the community and invests money back into the area! You will find produce that is best in season and straight from the supplier. A quick tip: often at the end of the day there are special deals on food that needs selling quickly so make sure to grab your reusable bags and find yourself a bargain.
Zero-waste lifestyles have become somewhat of a trend in the last decade, however with figures showing that the world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day (National Geographic), it is apparent how important it is to act now. Zero-waste shops allow you to bring your own containers to fill with a range of household essentials and opt to purchase plastic free alternatives. Over the years, a number of these shops have popped up over Amsterdam, an example is the Little Plant Pantry which is located in Oud-West and offers all the basics and more. Another store is Delicious Foods located in Westerstraat here you can get the tastiest pasta, muesli, nuts, dried fruits and much more.
We all know how terrible the fast fashion industry is affecting the planet, according to Green Hub Online eighty billion pieces of clothing are consumed globally every year. Thankfully Amsterdam is not short of second hand clothing stores with a vintage shop almost on every corner. Alongside this, there is an emerging trend in capsule wardrobe items, businesses such as Charlie & Mary as well as De Geitenwollenwinkel are great examples of where you can find ecological clothing. Further to this, is it worth visiting the vintage Kilo Shops where you can purchase clothes according to the weight, this way you can find some eclectic items, help the environment and save money.
Bring your containers to the supermarket
There is a whole host of supermarkets in Amsterdam, with many now looking to decrease the amount of plastic packaging. RTL Nieuws reports that by 2025 Dutch supermarkets are looking to reduce packaging by 20%. Stores such as Ekoplaza, Jumbo and Marqt have branches where you can bring your own containers to fill with ingredients. For example in Ekoplaza, you can fill with peanut butter, olive oil, rice and a selection of nuts. Quick tip: remember to go for the unpackaged fruit/ veg and stick to glass/ cardboard packaged foods to help all round!
According to Ovo Energy we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year, and more than half of it’s perfectly edible. Meanwhile, 1 in 7 people across the world don't have enough to eat. Therefore, instead of going to your usual restaurant for a weekly catch up with your friends, try visiting Instock or Taste Before You Waste. These dinners work on using produce that will otherwise be thrown away and making them into a fresh delicious dinner. Taste Before You Waste survives on donations, so come along to either the Wasteless Cultural Mondays or Wasteless Wednesday dinners (or both) at the Doikhuis each week!