2020 was frustrating in more or less every way possible, wasn’t it? While the pandemic has led to many people making their health a higher priority and therefore looking for plant-based alternatives, it’s also meant an increase in packaging and household waste as retailers race to make their environments covid-safe. It feels a bit like all the momentum the zero waste movement gained in the last decade got stomped into the ground in about 30 seconds. Enter the Good Club Zero Waste!
Pre-pandemic, we’d gotten into a really good habit of heading to our nearest zero-waste shops and refilling our staples. We did this two or three times a month, and it worked really well. Once everything went pear-shaped last year, though, we were trying to only go to a shop once a week – so we chose a big supermarket, as we could get pretty much everything in one go from there. Ever since, we haven’t been able to make zero-waste shopping part of our routine again – our closest shop is a good few miles away, we’re still trying to stay home as much as we possibly can, and it just doesn’t feel right to travel halfway across the city when we can just as easily buy what we need more locally.
But that left us in a dilemma – we were suddenly using a lot more single-use plastic again, after working so hard to reduce it wherever we could. After searching through the websites of a whole bunch of zero-waste online stores and not finding one that really fit our needs (affordable, wide range of products so that we don’t have to make multiple orders from different places), I stumbled across an ad for the Good Club Zero Waste. They’ve been around for a while, but their zero waste service is brand new. Not having anything to lose with their one-month free membership trial, we decided to give it a go.
Joining the Good Club Zero Waste
Good Club is a membership-based store, with an annual membership currently available at the reduced rate of £30. This gives you one free delivery per month, as well as access to a huge range of eco-friendly products at a reduced price. The company promise that you’ll save this amount across the year against the RRP of their range, or they’ll refund the difference. Low-income households can apply for a free membership. They also offer a one-month trial, so you can test out their service before committing.
Placing a Zero Waste Order
Ordering is pretty simple – the only thing to remember when you’re searching for individual products is to look for ‘Zero Waste’ in the product name, otherwise you’ll get the packaged option. While the Good Club has a huge range of products, from body care to cleaning products to food, their actual refillable zero waste range isn’t so big (yet), so in my opinion this is only worth signing up to if you’re going to buy a range of other essentials from them too. This works for us – we also got a bunch of tinned goods, toiletries, household stuff, etc. Because you only get one free delivery a month, it’s a good idea to wait until you need a few things in bulk. Getting this right is probably a bit of trial and error! Once you check out, you can pick your delivery date – the next one available for our shop was about a week away, so keep this in mind when you’re ordering.
Getting our Good Club Delivery
Delivery went without a hitch. A few days before our box was due, I got an email reminding me that it was the last chance to make a change to the order, and notifying me of anything that was out of stock. On the arranged day, DPD texted with the delivery time slot, and dropped the box off at the door. Now came the fun part: we unpacked everything and transferred our zero waste staples into our own containers. Full transparency: I only photographed the glass jars because they’re pretty obvs but a lot of it also went into old takeaway containers. That too is a part of low-waste living, it’s not all about aesthetics!
Returning the Good Club Zero Waste Packaging
Once everything was put away, our empty containers went back into the crate they arrived in. We sealed it with the clever multi-use cable ties (genius!) and I left it in front of the door early the next morning. Hermes came and collected it contact-free, and it went straight back to Good Club to be cleaned and reused. The whole process worked without a snag, despite the service being in its early days.
Were there any flaws?
I’ve got to say, I’m pretty happy with everything! The only flaws, if any, are that the range is quite small and heavily features organic staples. This is great, but it does mean prices are a bit higher than we would usually spend at a store. It does mean I don’t have to visit big supermarkets as often, though, so the jury is out on how this will balance out financially over the next months. The other small downside is that, to be used efficiently, the Good Club Zero Waste concept does take a lot of planning, as well as some trial and error, to make sure you’re ordering the right products and quantities for the month. I’m still in the early stages of this process, but this post will be updated when I have a better idea of how well this has worked for us.