I love grocery shopping. My weekend activities usually consists of me going through hypermarket pamphlets and driving around town to scour for the best deals. I have multiple member cards for the different stores that I visit, can recognize which cashiers will be most efficient at check out and basically have a mental map of aisles in my head.
I’m a total aunty at 29, don’t I already know it.
Yet one problem that I encounter shopping as a single person is the quantity of goods per package. Which usually comes predetermined. Take for example oats, I would usually have a bag in my pantry as a quick breakfast option but I almost always struggle to finish the bag by it’s expiry date.
“Buy a smaller bag of oats la!” . Yes, I could do that but it’ll be less cost effective, meaning to say I ‘ll either have to pay more for less or more for what I don’t need. The Aunty in me is reeling.
And let us not get started on the amount of packaging that comes with it. I try to do my best by bringing my own reusable bag but even then, the plastic bag plastic bag (a plastic bag used to keep plastic bags. Every asian household has a plastic bag plastic bag, whatchu mean that’s weird) keeps accumulating.
If only there was a way to buy what you need in exactly the amount that you need it…
The General Store (TGS) by Common Goods Market in Johor Bahru is an Eco-Friendly store which supplies daily grocery items and aims to reduce waste by eliminating one-time plastic use. They do this by sourcing their food in bulk so that consumers can purchase only what is needed.
Buy what you need = less waste is produced.
This zero-waste (or at least, reduced waste) concept is not a new one in Malaysia with stores such as The Hive in Kuala Lumpur being in operation for many years now. In Johor , we are slowly but surely catching up. There is the beginnings of a consumer awareness shift to becoming more conscious about our purchases and how it affects us and the earth. Zero waste/Reduced waste is a relatively new concept, no doubt but TGS has played a part in raising the general awareness, and being one of the first few to cater to this growing demand.
Located in the new commercial township of Eco Palladium, walk into their spacious store on the second level of the building and you are greeted with a calming earthy vibe. Key trend word being ‘minimalist’. With wooden shelves lining the perimeter of their walls, the space is divided into a few sections such as food, apothecary, home, lifestyle etc.
The concept as mentioned earlier is simple: Buy what you need. Basically prices of items are displayed aaccording to their weight i.e. per gram or ml. Pick your items. Fill up your container based on how much you need (you are encouraged to bring along your own ! But don’t worry if you don’t have a container , the store has paper bags and glass jars). Weigh what you took & pay for exactly that!
They carry a wide range of mostly dry food items ranging from dehydrated fruits and vegetables (you must try their strawberries!), herbs and spices, tea leaves and coffee beans, nuts and seeds, grain and lentils, granola and cookies. It is the ultimate pantry stockist.
Every day household items like dish washing soap, laundry detergent and even insect repellent are available as well. Organic and less harmful for the earth and her oceans, these actually add up to about the same price as those available in supermarkets, if you factor in the amount you use! Remember to also check out their range of natural body soaps, shampoos and body moisturizers. They are suitable for those with ssensitive skins and all smell divine.
Sustainable lifestyle items mostly made from bamboo, like toothbrushes and cooking utensils can be found under their lifestyle section. Did you know that bamboo grows super fast even without pesticides and can be harvested every 3 years, making it one of the most easily renewable resource ? #themoreyouknow
I also love how they are supporting local by bringing in homegrown brands such as Ristic apothecary , Lilin+Co, BreakFast by Amy and other such curated small bussinesses . Do check out their space as they plan to introduce more local entrepreneurs on board !
There were just so many things to explore here ! I love how it has made me realise that there are more things i can do in preserving the earth and her resources. From our consumption choices to lifestyle habits, we can all do our part in becoming more sustainable . One small change at a time.
Also, Don’t hesitate to ask the friendly staff if you’re not sure how to go about it ! They’re super nice and passionate about what they do.
So here’s to the start of a more environmentally conscious adventure!
The General Store by Common Goods Market
1, Eco Palladium, 02-12, Block B, Jalan Ekoflora 7, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Sat, Sun 10am-7pm
Closed on Mondays
+6016-736 2312 (Whatsapp)