What is perceived convenience? It's a term that probably exists already, but it's what I'm choosing to use in order to explain the mindset of thinking that making stuff in your own home is less convenient that buying in a store.
Think about it. We're basically told that buying is more convenient than making. It's a "Convenience Shop" after all, yet everything is overprepped, overpackaged and overpriced.
Using yoghurt as the example (because that's kind of our bag) let's start by thinking about the journey that the plastic pot of yoghurt has made in order to reach the supermarket shelf. Here's a quick list to consider:
- Cows milked and milk transported to where yoghurt is made
- 24-hour energy required to run yoghurt factory
- Disposable plastic PPE and overalls required by all staff
- Factory sterilisation and cleaning procedure
- Plastic pots manufactured
- Plastic pots transported to factory
- Plastic lids manufactured
- Plastic lids transported to factory
- Foil seal manufactured
- Foil seal transported to factory
- Printed labels manufactured
- Refrigerated transportation to supermarket distribution centres
- Onward transportation from distribution centres to individual supermarkets
- Refrigeration required in the supermarket to keep the yoghurt fresh
If you make that yoghurt at home using delivered milk bottles, the list would look more like this:
- Cows milked and milk bottled at dairy
- Glass milk bottle manufactured (a glass bottle will be reused around 30 times for delivery and then recycled to make more glass bottles)
- Milk delivered to your home
- Energy required to warm the milk to 50 degrees (roughly 5 minutes)
In your own home, making your own yoghurt does not require any more effort than what would be required to make a nice coffee, for example. It's not even like making a cake - there are just two ingredients and one pan to wash. It takes about 5 minutes to heat the milk and one spoon of starter yoghurt. There is nothing to it. Once your milk is prepped you simply place your sealed jar into a YogurtNest and leave it to incubate for a few hours. We normally prepare our yoghurt before going to bed, leaving the milk to incubate overnight, so that we have fresh yoghurt in the morning. Each jar will probably last three days in our house and then we make some more.
It just slots so easily into the routine at home. It's not a chore. It doesn't take time out of your day. It doesn't require a journey. It can be done amongst other things - while making a cup of tea, while making toast, while washing up, while prepping dinner. It doesn't make mess or require lots of tidying up. It doesn't need special ingredients.
It is satisfying. It is liberating. It is healthy. It is simple. It saves plastic. It is convenient. Anything you can start removing from your shopping list and make at home instead is a helping hand for the planet.