Tag Archives: boxes

Box amnesty

Environmentally, there is no such thing as good packaging; only some that is less bad. Recycling can help but it is a poor substitute for reuse or, even better, not using the stuff in the first place. So why do we use any at all? Some leafy veg, like spinach and lettuce, dehydrates so quickly that not using bags results in pointless waste. Similarly, tomatoes and mushrooms need protection and potato bags retain the mud and exclude light to prevent greening. We have done a lot of work with Exeter University to find the ‘least worst’ option for what to use, with some surprising and counterintuitive results. You can read more at www.riverfordenvironment.co.uk.

The veg boxes themselves are designed to be reused many times. If they were all returned we would get around 10 trips per box, but we currently only achieve four because so many are not. If you can reuse them, we are happy. But if not, we want them back, even if they are damaged. If the boxes were all returned, we could more than halve their environmental impact. This is what we would like you to do:

  • Veg boxes: fold flat by pushing the ends in so the bottom goes down (not up into the box) and leave out for collection. This is the single biggest thing you can do to help.
  • Plastic bags: leave out in your veg box for us to recycle.
  • Paper bags and punnets: reuse as seed trays, lunch bags, compost bin liners etc, then compost, or put out for recycling with your paper (if clean).
  • Meat box packaging: we’d like the box, gel packs and insulated liner back for reuse. Anything that has touched the meat must go out with your rubbish.
  • Plastic punnets: we use few of these so do not have a recycling route. Please put them out with the rest of your rubbish.

Thanks for your help.

Guy Watson

good looking boxes

big-lunch-boxit’s been a good growing year so far and our boxes are looking great. Our most recent box is the Big Lunch Box, enough to make scrumptious salads for 8 people with fresh fruit & cream for dessert. Find out more about our box on our website.

Price Comparison – great value vegbox

In a moment of procrastination I decided to weigh out all the veg in today’s Summer box, and compare the cost with how much I would have had to spend in the supermarkets to get the same produce.

I visited the online shopping sites of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, and created a shopping basket to resemble the summer box as closely as possible. In each case I included delivery – £5 for Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, and £4.50 for Tesco (cheapest options).
Here are the results:
Waitrose, £28.13. I could not source organic basil leaves or organic radish, so non-organic prices were used. I could not source Red Chard, so the closest I could find was spinach, for the purposes of costing. There were 60 grams less broad beans, and 50 grams more radish.

Sainsbury’s, £27.48. Broad beans and basil were non-organic. The spring onions were 20g lighter, the spinach 40g lighter, the mushrooms 70g lighter, and not portabella but white field mushrooms. There were more broad beans, though: 500g instead of 360g in the summer box. Again, chard wasn’t available so I substituted spinach.

Tesco, c£26.00. Couldn’t be more precise as I couldn’t source broad beans or chard, and the courgettes didn’t show a weight, but I got to £23.84 substituting spinach for chard, and by including a 3-pack of courgettes (there were also 3 in the summer box), and leaving out broad beans entirely as I couldn’t think of a suitable replacement. The tomatoes were 100g lighter, the mushrooms 70g lighter, the radish 50g lighter, the basil 25g heavier, spring onion 25g heavier than the summer box items. Basil, spring onion and radish not organic.

The Riverswale box at £12.96 delivered (inc debit card charge) is fab value, before you even consider the better quality produce, and even if you forget the delivery charges of the supermarkets.

I look forward to next week’s box.
David (River Swale customer)