Zero Waste Shopping
Plastic free July is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean we should get any less concerned about waste and singe use plastics. Instead we should see this as the beginning of a new exciting chapter towards a more zero waste lifestyle. Who's on board? Personally I'm so inspired and keen to learn more about how to live a more zero waste lifestyle. In today's blogpost I'll share a few tips when it comes to zero waste grocery shopping. I'm in no means perfect when it comes to this topic, more like far from perfect. I'm just like you learning as I go and I'm constantly having aha moments and new realisations. Here are just a few things I've come to realise so far.
Buying In Bulk
My first tip is to shop dry staples in bulk. There are bulk food shops popping up here and there and some supermarkets even have a bulk food section. Nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, spices, teas and so much more can easily be picked up in your own jar, cotton bag or a paper bag. Some bulk food shops will also offer other things you'll need at home like oils, syrups and even household items like washing liquids! This truly is the new way to shop and it's kind of fun too. I totally loose sense of time as I browse through all the bulk bins.
Where can I find my local bulk food shop?
I can only speak for countries like Finland, Sweden, Australia or New Zealand from my own experience as I've lived in these countries. In Finland Punnitse ja säästä offers lots of items in bulk. In Australia (and now UK) you'll find my all time favourite Source Bulk Foods that will have you well covered. I've also stumbled across a bulk food shop in my home town Malmö called Gram where I'll be a regular as I get back. New Zealand also had bulk food shops here and there - I think these are run by independent business. What I'm trying to say is that wherever I've lived, in small or big city, there has always been some sort of bulk food shop on my local are. Start by googling your own city and I bet you'll find something.
The easiest way to buy packaging free produce is at the farmer's markets. These type of market is usually held on the weekend. Again do some research about your own local area. I know for example that both Australia and New Zealand has some of the best farmer's markets. If your home town doesn't do farmer's markets check out the next section for some tips on how to cut down waste in the supermarket.
Is it possible to shop waste free in a normal supermarket? If you're really determined it probably is, but that also means that you have to be ready to sacrifice quite a few things and get out of your comfort zone. Firstly I'd say that it's all about changing our habits. Always bring your own cotton produce bags and your own reusable shopping bags. Simple changes like this will take you a long way. When you go to the supermarket for your weekly shop STOP buying veggies and other things that are packed in plastic and opt for the fresh produce that isn't packaged. If something in packed in plastic think twice do you really need it? Opt for packaging that is at least recyclable like cardboard. Buy thing that come in glass jars, because you can reuse them in your own kitchen and bring with you to the supermarket deli section to get filled with olives ect. It's good to keep in mind that you should try reuse whatever you can.