Zero Waste Grocery Shopping | Tips for the Beginner
In the United States, 40% of food goes uneaten.
Since most cities don’t compost, that food ends up in a landfill.
Because of this, I think the very first step to zero waste grocery shopping is making a plan.
If you are just starting out with zero waste, then don’t worry too much about processed
foods and finding those types of things in bulk.
Focus on what you can easily change.
Do you usually buy mushrooms in a carton?
If possible, buy them individually.
Likewise, if you usually buy potatoes in a big plastic bag, then try buying them individually.
Of course, I don’t know exactly what kinds of individual produce your local supermarket
carries, so I recommend just doing your best.
Becoming zero waste is a long journey.
I use these reusable produce bags.
I got them on Amazon.
They were really cheap.
They work really well.
However I don’t recommend buying these unless you’re really on a budget because they’re
made out of polyester, which is not a sustainable material.
So it would be better if you either made your own out of scraps or bought some cotton ones
They have a lot of those, a lot of different sizes.
I have I think this size and maybe a little bigger….probably about 5 or 6 of them.
I’ll try to link where I bought these down below if you are on a budget and want to get
something like these, but I do recommend either making your own or finding organic cotton
ones on Etsy.
I have a few of these bulk bags that I bought at Whole Foods.
They’re really cheap.
According to the tag, they’re 90% recycled cotton and 10% recycled PET which is kind of cool.
You can also find things like these on Etsy or you can make your own.
I do handwash these in between uses.
I think they’re nice to have even if you don’t have bulk foods.
You can use things like these for smaller items like pastries or bagels.
You can also use reusable containers for bulk foods.
These are just jars of pasta sauce that I cleaned out and I took off the wrapper and
tried to take off some of the glue.
For these, you have to usually ask your bulk foods store if they allow you to bring these
in because some of them (I’ve heard) don’t actually allow you to do that, which is pretty
unfortunate but you want to check before.
At Whole Foods, I bring something like this in.
I bring it to the customer service desk and they would weigh it or tare it for me.
I either write it on here or write it in my phone so I can tell the cashier when I get
up there how much this weighs so they’ll only charge me for the amount of food that’s inside
it and not the whole- the weight of the whole thing.
I rarely buy meat and cheese but I have seen other people bring their own containers and
put meat and cheese in there.
They just go up to the deli counter and ask them to put the product in the container.
I think it just depends on the store so don’t be afraid to ask.
I do still buy eggs right now but I try to make sure they are in a recyclable container
most of them are, especially just regular egg cartons.
I try to make sure that I’m not buying way too many, that my household will be able to
eat them all, and I make sure that they’re local.
I understand that a lot of people don’t have access to bulk foods, and can’t even
access produce without plastic packaging.
My best recommendation is to try to find either a farmer’s market or a local grocery store
because they will be more receptive to you bringing your own bag.
If you don’t have access to a local farmers market or
if your local grocery store doesn’t allow you to bring your own bags, then I would recommend
buying, for example, a bigger bag of rice, if that’s something you usually consume and
buy a lot.
Most of the time it’s better to buy a bigger package of something you know you are going
to continue to buy because it ends up being cheaper and it ends up being less packaging
overall, especially when you compare it to buying multiple smaller bags of the same product.
Now if you can’t even do that, then try to reduce your waste in other ways.
Like I said, a lot of household waste is food waste.
So if you’re going to buy food in plastic packaging, the best thing you can do is make
sure that you finish it all and no food goes to waste.
For more tips about reducing household waste, check out the blog post I linked in the description.
I hope these tips will help you shop more zero waste.
Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in my next video.