What is it?
Another brave + beautiful zero waste shop in the South West. Taunton-based Lesser Litter is a great place to shop for plastic-free staples like peanut butter, nut milks, and spices.
Who’s it for?
Plastic free spirits who want the convenience of finding everything they need, plastic-free and under one roof. Highlights include the friendly customer service, maple syrup on-tap, and the opportunity to grind your own peanut butter.
Lesser Litter is another brilliant zero waste shop near us. I love it because it sells a massive range of things that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else without plastic: epsom salts, refillable hand wash, loose vegan chocolate drops, and heaps of snacks such as raw chocolate raisins and crispy flavoured fava beans designed to take over from crisps (snacks are one of the first things you’ll struggle with when you go plastic-free).
It may not look it in the photos, but the shop was packed, both with shoppers and people who wanted to scope the place out for future use.
Feel free to look around – don’t feel you need to buy anything!— Pete Hope, co-founder, Lesser Litter
Like everyone I’ve spoken to in the zero waste community, Lesser Litter founders Pete and Kate could not be friendlier or more ready to answer questions. They encourage people who just want to have a look around to do so, and place no pressure on visitors to buy.
This is a great approach. Most people have never been inside a zero waste shop + it makes sense to give them the chance to get to grips with this new way of doing things, write their shopping list, and return with jars and tubs aplenty.
Using the scales, gravity dispensers, and peanut butter machine
There’s a first time for everything, and I’m glad I had the gang at Lesser Litter to help me move past these zero waste milestones on my first visit. But in case you’re nervous when you go into your first zero waste shop, here’s a quick guide to using gravity dispensers, scales, and the peanut butter machine.
The scales are super easy to use. You weigh your container and lid before filling your containers, and print out a sticker that means you can deduct their weight later on. This sticker can stay on your container for as long as it lasts, so my advice is to stick it to the bottom.
I was a little nervous of the gravity dispensers. How much would come out? Would the food come out too fast for me, and end up all over the floor?
I needn’t have worried. The nuts, seeds and beans came out at just the right speed and volume for me to catch in my containers easily (it’s always worth being careful though – I once found myself in an avalanche of Bombay mix at Waste Not Want Not – I was a little too enthusiastic!).
Back to the scales
When your containers are full, you take them back to the scales to weigh your food. You’ll need to scan the first sticker to deduct the weight of your container from the overall weight of both container and food. Then, you print out another sticker; this is for scanning at the till.
Making my own peanut butter at a zero waste shop has been on my list of things to do for a while. I was happy to see a machine at Lesser Litter, but again, I was worried I’d make a mess.
Lesser Litter co-founder Kate gave me the inside scoop on this handy machine. You simply hold your container under the dispenser, choose your preferred texture (smooth, medium or crunchy), and press the big red button. When you have enough peanut butter, press the button again to turn the machine off, and give your jar or tub a little wiggle to dislodge the last of your peanut butter from the nozzle.
Have you been to Lesser Litter? Do you have another brilliant zero waste shop near you? Or maybe you run your own? I’d love to hear from you!