Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Being a Conscious Consumer in St. Andrews

Laura Henderson explores how to shop consciously in St. Andrews.

Being both a student and conscious of where and what we buy can be difficult at times, especially if you want to limit your impact on the planet. I think it is fair to say St. Andrews is a place that is constantly pushing boundaries, and the people who live here are excited to be at the forefront of change. Taking inspiration from the Climate Strike, held on Friday the 20th of September, this article examines how we can shop consciously and make good decisions for our health, our wallet, and the environment. 


Now, for the supermarkets in St. Andrews–  

Convenience is key here and it is great to have shops which are right in the centre of town to nip in and grab what you need. However, they come with a downside – the packaging. One way to limit this is to ditch the packaged fruit and veg. This is a simple switch and sometimes it is more expensive but money talks. By this, I mean if consumers buy less of the packaged items, businesses will change their products and prices to accommodate to the choice of the customer. On the other hand, why not grow your own. Transition have 16 community-based garden spaces where you can learn and help to harvest your own food. This is not only more rewarding but, gives you knowledge of where your food is coming from. It also promotes eating seasonally and cuts your carbon footprint.  


Source: Creative Commons CC0

For an alternative place to purchase your weekly shop there are some amazing local businesses and initiatives that offer delicious locally sourced food that. Birchwood Food Emporium (previously known as Heart Space Whole Foods) is a personal favourite of mine. The shop stocks packaged-free fruit and veg, cleaning supplies and all your cupboard essentials. If you are a tofu lover, then I recommend trying the various flavours they have in store (another personal favourite). Additionally, there is a student-run food cooperative that you may have heard of called – ‘The Tree’. They take online orders and shout out about being local, organic and affordable – what more do you want. Every Tuesday afternoon they are at the Student Union where you can collect your yummy produce. Balgove Farm shop is yet another business in St. Andrews where you can purchase locally. They sell their own cheese, eggs, milk, fruit, veg and have a butcher. It is another great place to get your essentials. 

Source: Creative Commons Zero

When it comes to finding local suppliers, St. Andrews is a great town to live in. We have so much on our doorstep to allow us to be more conscious of where we choose to do our food shopping. By making these small changes it helps the environment and the local economy. We can purchase a smaller amount of food, thus produce less waste and only buy what we need, also helping us save money. Putting these small change into practice can and will make a difference, but only if we do it together. So, use your power as a consumer and purchase smarter. 




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