Do our personal sustainability strategies need to go back to the future?

I'm old enough to remember when pretty much all the milk we drank was delivered direct to your door. By the milk man, not as part of your supermarket delivery. And fizzy pop too, before Corona was even a beer...let alone a disease. All in returnable glass bottles. Old fashioned, and inconvenient by modern standards. But much more environmentally friendly than dumping plastics in landfill...or even recycling them.

Corona Lorry (probably late 70s)
Corona Lorry (probably late 70s)

So a new arrival in our fridge raises an interesting question about how we achieve a sustainable future, and the personal strategies we follow in delivering this.


With the caveat that it's currently a very middle-class option (as it comes via our Riverford delivery), ReRooted is a new organic oat milk we're trying out which, like milk of old, comes in returnable bottles.

I've said before that recycling is the least effective of sustainability's 6Rs, and should only ever be a last resort rather than the go to solution it has become. From an environmental perspective, reusing is always a better option (and that's only the 3rd R).

The 6 Rs of sustainable living
The 6 Rs of sustainable living

Given the parallel, and equally retro trend of zero waste, 'fill your own' grocer shopping, it will be interesting to see how many more of the pre-convenience ways of doing things make a return in our lives. Behaviours which were ditched when plastic-led disposability became the easier option. And look where that got us: arguably there's nothing more inconvenient than a global environmental apocalypse!


So, much as new tech will have an important role to play in all this, maybe it's also time to look backwards to find our solutions for a sustainable future.



34 views0 comments