It’s summer and the perfect time to meet up with friends, wander among the vegetable stalls and try something new at your local farmers market. Markets are great for finding fresh, local produce and delicious homemade foods. For just over a year, Sustomi has had a weekly stall at Salamanca Market in Hobart, Tasmania. We love meeting the other local producers and all the visitors to Tasmania. For the thousands of people who visit Salamanca each Saturday we strive to run a zero waste stall. So we have collected together our tips for how to run your own zero waste stall, what to bring when exploring your next market and some inspiring zero waste markets to check out on your travels around Australia!

Salamanca market opens every Saturday morning at 8:30am. Sitting between sandstone buildings, parks, the waterfront and Government house, this market has been running for over 45 years. Over that time the market has grown from 12 to over 300 stalls. See Salamanca Market details on their website.

HOW WE RUN OUR ZERO WASTE MARKET STALL

We treat our stall like a closed loop. While the Hobart City Council provides bins for waste at the market we set out not to use these bins. Our zero waste goal begins when we pack our stock ready for the market:

 

  • The boxes we pack our stock in are reusable. Even if they are empty of stock we bring them back to the studio to repack for next week.
  • The packaging on our products is paper or cardboard so that it can be easily reused or recycled.
  • We wrap stock in brown paper to protect it while it is transported to the market, this is reused the following week.
  • The only bags we provide are brown paper bags that can be reused or recycled after use. We’ve noticed simply not mentioning bags at all eliminates a mass of bags.
  • Our display items such as the kitchen jug and bowls are wrapped each week in second-hand table cloths and towels that can be reused – the ornaments are second hand themselves.
  • We have a reusable box for all our stationary.
  • We purchase fresh, edible vegetables from the market and hand pick fresh flora from our gardens for our display each week. We love Harvest Feast and we’re spoilt for choice with fresh, delicious fruit and vegetables at Salamanca.

At the end of the market day we want our stall space to be left just as we found it in the morning, free from waste. We work with Tas Trade who deliver our stock on time, set up and pack down our marquee so that our market space is left just as we found it!

We aren’t perfect in eliminating waste, but we do enjoy the challenge! We recently switched from plastic pens to wooden pencils for people who want to sign up to our newsletter. Our current challenge is sticky tape. What are your suggestions for replacing sticky tape?

YOUR ZERO WASTE MARKET ESSENTIALS KIT

What is the best line to hear at a market? ‘No thanks, I’ve brought my own bag!’.

Waste at the market not only comes from the stall we set up but from our own bags. Lucky for us we work at an incredible market and get to enjoy the offerings each week (in a zero waste fashion, of course). Here are some tips that we have learnt this year from being a market patron. These will be useful whether you are visiting a market on your holidays or have your own stall:

  • A bag of bags, bring several bags with you to fill with fresh produce. This is a great tip because you may want to buy from several stalls or be meeting friends who forgot their own bags.
  • A reusable cup, whether you have a new coffee cup with a lid or just grab one from your kitchen cupboard. A cup is essential when there is so much good coffee to choose from, both at the cafes and market stalls! Or that delicious Spanish hot chocolate you wanted to try. I won’t list all your coffee options as that will take a whole other blog post!
  • A lunch box or two, there are several things a lunch box can be useful for, you could fill it with a Thai salad or fish and chips.
  • You will definitely want a second box for sweets as there are lots to choose from! It is hard to resist the chocolate brownies from Bury Me Standing, fudge from the House of Fudge, crepes from MIAM French Crepes, Summer Kitchen and so many more!
  • Cutlery, to eat those yummy lunches! I find two sets are good if I am meeting friends as they may have forgotten their own.
  • A reusable straw, if it is going to be a hot day then you will want a straw in your bag for fresh juices from Salamanca Juice or Summer Delights, smoothies or an ice coffee.

Are you having a big day at the market, perhaps working on a stall? If your on the market stall we also recommend:

  • Your drink bottle (reusable of course)
  • A coat
  • Suncream
  • Very comfortable shoes and mats to stand on

INSPIRING ZERO WASTE FARMERS MARKETS

We have spent several happy hours finding out about inspiring farmers markets and how they reduce waste. Here are our top picks!

Here is how they reduce waste

  • Adelaide Farmers Market

Here is how they reduce waste