This month I finally bit the bullet and started to take the last few steps toward zero waste grocery shopping. Food packaging, and the reality that it is most of what goes into my trash can, has been on my mind.
I had been meaning to bring glass jars to fill up at the bulk section of my local grocery store for months, and yet something always held me back. I don’t want the jars bouncing into each other while I walk. I don’t know how to get the tare weight. What would I even buy. What if the selection isn’t as good as the packaged products.
They were excuses because I was afraid of trying something new. It’s not even that big of a change in my routine, and yet I dragged my feet on it for months!
Turns out zero waste grocery shopping from the bulk bins is super easy!
My canning jars were plenty sturdy for the walk over, and when I got to the store the customer service person weighed them and wrote the tare weight on top for me. I can keep reusing those jars without having to get them re-weighed. When I got home, I just put the jars straight in the cabinet and I was done.
Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Guides
These are the people or the blog posts that really gave me the extra push I needed this month.
Zero Waste Home: Zero Waste Grocery Shopping
Bea and her family were my first introduction to zero waste living years ago. I’ve admired her lifestyle and read her book. I implemented quite a few of her tips. Her post breaks down how to shop zero waste for everything on your list.
Paris to Go: Going Zero Waste
While the woman behind this blog has unknowingly become my minimalist wardrobe guru, her post on how to go zero waste when the people in your life aren’t so keen was great. I live with roommates who understand what I’m doing on various levels. They put up with my experiments and don’t question why I’m collecting compost on our countertop despite the fact that where we live doesn’t have compost collection. Not buying the beloved potato chips didn’t go over well. But the post has been helpful, especially with the suggestion of giving “appealing alternatives.” Turns out homemade hummus and fresh veggies are quite the motivator.
Trash is For Tossers: 5 Days of Zero Waste
This video was the last little, “hey, you should do this” push I needed. I already do so many of these things, so why not add in zero waste grocery shopping? Lauren Singer‘s advice to look through your trash and see what you throw away the most hit me the hardest. My trash is full of tissues and chip bags, both completely avoidable.
Now I still don’t know how to get kale without a rubber band or twist tie put on by the store or how to get tofu without the plastic container, but this has opened my eyes. I’m struggling to give up tortilla chips and potato chips, but I have certainly cut my consumption significantly to reduce the packaging they come in.