"Sustainability" - a little word with a big meaning. Climate protection and sustainability go hand in hand. In recent years, we have become increasingly aware that we only have one earth. And we have to take very good care of it. However, when it comes to this or other difficult topics, I am a bit of an ostrich. I bury my head in the sand and hope that everything will get better quickly. Add to that a feeling of powerlessness. What's the point if I make an effort while the big corporations do what they want? I'm probably not alone in this attitude. But in the end, we can only change our own behavior - not that of others. And if a lot of people join in, we can definitely make a difference. A torrential river is also only made up of many small drops. And before I get too philosophical and digress, I'll start with the actual topic of this blog post: sustainable shopping!
Regional and seasonal
We all know the principle "buy regional and seasonal". I already fail at it in the morning. It starts with my morning coffee, continues with bananas, mangos, roibuschtee and ends with chocolate. There is probably (almost) no one who manages to consume exclusively what grows in our country. Personally, I don't have this claim at all - I simply love coffee too much for that. But how would it be if we managed to buy products that grow in our region and seasonally? Who needs strawberries in winter, pumpkins in June or apples from Chile? In the supermarket you have to look carefully where the food comes from. It's easier to buy directly from the farm. You know where the products come from. From the field to the plate - it doesn't get any better than that.
Homemade tastes best
Let me introduce you to my very favorite farm store: Kattler's farm shop. That it is my favorite, I say not only because I am Oberhoferin and must, so to speak, only twice fall down to be there. The high quality of the products that the Fritz family offers speaks for itself. The selection is large. Meat tigers will be delighted with bacon, Schibli, Kaminwurzen or the popular Kattlernossi, among others. "The meat comes from our own animals," Manuela Fritz tells me. A look into the barn reveals that the animals have it good at the Kattlerhof. If you know what you're eating, you can enjoy meat much more. However, if you don't eat pork like I do, you don't have to go home empty-handed. My absolute recommendation are Manuela's homemade spelt sticks, filled with jam and partly dipped in chocolate. Heavenly, believe me. Just like the pot pie or the marble cake - no matter, everything tastes good. Maybe it's because the Fritz family grows and processes the spelt themselves. Bread is baked with rye from their own fields, among other things. It doesn't get more regional than that!
Quality from Oberhofen
Only fresh products cross the counter of the small farm store, which has been open every Wednesday and Friday since April 2014. Eggs, cheese, jams and juices are not produced at the Kattlerhof, but come from the region. Yogurt and milk, on the other hand, again come directly from the farm's own cows, which, incidentally, are fed only hay, as Manuela tells me. That means they get fresh grass in summer and hay in winter. "We stopped using silage purely out of conviction. It's unbelievable the waste the silage bales produce, plus you can taste the difference," Manuela tells me. I can attest to that, we love the yogurt very much. The best thing, however, is that it is only available in jars. The next time you go shopping, you simply bring them back washed. This way, there is much less waste. Shopping at the farm store makes sense all along the line: it tastes good, you do something good for the environment, and incidentally you support a local farm. It's worth a visit, even if you're not from Oberhof.
Zero Waste - plastic-free
Some things - which are very difficult for us to do without - do not grow in Austria. I love dates and use them very often in baking as a healthier sugar alternative. What would a morning be without coffee? So if we decide to buy products that don't grow around the corner, it would be great if we at least made sure that they are produced fairly and that they do as little harm to the environment as possible in their production, processing and packaging. That can be really hard and exhausting, I know. And one thing right away, I very often don't manage it. I feel overwhelmed and feel like it's impossible to pay attention to everything. Which brings us back to the beginning, I bury my head in the sand and just don't do anything. Thank goodness, however, that there is a store in Innsbruck that helps us to shop really sustainably: the greenroot - Innsbruck's most modern Zero-Waste-Shop directly at Marktgraben. "Packaging-free shopping" has never been easier.
Back to the roots
I came across the greenroot in the course of my research for this blog post. I'm surprised myself that I hadn't noticed it before. The selection is huge. There are pastas like noodles and bread, legumes, grains (which you can grind in the store), nuts, sweets, but also soap or shampoo and much more. Engin Dogan - founder of greenroot - is so kind and takes time on a Saturday afternoon to show me his store. As soon as we want to start chatting over an oat milk cappuccino, we are interrupted. The greenroot is really busy. Customers come with their own containers, which are weighed by Engin before shopping, filled by the customers with the desired goods and weighed again before payment - a bit like in the old days in the corner store. After all, shopping without packaging is not a new invention, in line with the motto: „back to the roots“ - to the „greenroots“.
Sustainability pays off
It is important to Engin to act to the best of his ability and to pay attention to sustainability in all areas. In his case, however, that also means doing without. First and foremost, of course, doing without packaging, but also without certain products. Food is offered exclusively in organic quality. Customers who bring their own containers and have them filled are rewarded: for every ten euros spent, they receive a stamp in their collection pass. You only get a stamp for products purchased in your own container - i.e. not for pre-packaged or Nonfood items. If you get ten stamps, you get a voucher worth ten euros. If you do not bring your own container, you have the option of purchasing one.
Climate Alliance - holistically sustainable
I want to know from Engin how he chose his suppliers. "That was the most difficult thing and has evolved over time. We tried to improve bit by bit. Sustainability has been our top priority, with regionality, Fairtrade and ethical conditions being very important. For example, our cleaning products from Sonett come in buckets that are taken back by the company. It's incredible how much plastic this saves. Of course, we also have suppliers who supply us with products packaged in plastic. However, only very few of them are. For example, we buy chocolate exclusively in Fairtrade quality and from an Austrian supplier in bulk packaging. This naturally creates much less waste than if each piece of chocolate were individually wrapped. In the meantime, we are also Klimabündnis-Betrieb", Engin recounts. "For this, we had to explain exactly how we manage, what equipment we use or through whom we obtain our electricity. So we were really audited across the board."
From bank consultant to sustainable entrepreneur
I'm curious how Engin came up with the idea of opening Zero-Waste-Shop. After all, he comes from a completely different professional background: he was originally a customer advisor at the bank. "Once I'm old and ask myself what I've actually achieved and accomplished, career isn't that important," Engin says. "What I have done for our environment and sustainability is much more important. Besides, my roots are in Turkey. My grandparents were mountain farmers there, so I came into contact with the food industry at an early age. I got to know that many old seed varieties don't even exist anymore, that tomatoes don't really smell like tomatoes anymore. Little by little, I started to question all that. I studied part-time, and there we were told, 'Do what makes you happy and you're goodat.' That got me thinking, and that's how I made my decision."
Engin is a very friendly and dedicated man. You can tell he really loves what he does, and I recommend you stop by greenroot. Take a look at the WWF site - it quickly becomes clear that if we continue like this, we really do have a big problem. Too much plastic is ending up in our oceans, and that's not good for anyone. So it makes perfect sense to pay close attention to what we buy and where!
Even more pleasure from the region
I have already introduced you to my favorite farm store. Thank goodness there are more and more farmers in and around Innsbruck who sell produce from their farms, and you don't necessarily have to go to Oberhofen. Christian introduces you to more farm stores here. Also great is Lea's article on her blog escape-town - even with „Buylocal Google Maps Liste“! Regional shopping has never been so easy!
I love the Mieminger Plateau, and what could be better than combining a trip there with a little shopping at the farm store? Lea has the perfect tip for you. Also recommended is a visit to Hansl’s Hofladen in Wildermieming. The best thing to do beforehand is to take a short walk through the wonderful larch forests and treat yourself to a cup of coffee at the Gerhardhof - A Sunday afternoon couldn't look any better.
I hope I was able to inspire you a little. In any case, the research for this article has given me food for thought, and I will try to shop more consciously. By the way, you can also take a look at this article on the subject of food waste.
Address: Unterdorf 3, 6406 Oberhofen im Inntal
Phone: +43 664/56 51 519
Opening hours: Wednesday and Friday from 2-6 p.m. and also by appointment by telephone
Address: Marktgraben 14, 6020 Innsbruck
Opening hours: Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m
Address: Unterfeld 2, 6413 Wildermieming
Phone: +43 52 64/51 66, +43 664/12 43 872
Opening hours: open daily
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