Refusing waste is the first and arguably the most important step in controlling the waste generated in our society. A major place to refuse waste is while grocery shopping so here’s how to do it. This weekend I went to my local farmer’s market and a store offering bulk items.
Step 1 – Find Stores that Offer Bulk Options
Many standard grocery stores offer bulk options but you can do a Google search or use this handy app to find not commonly offered items like vinegar, peanut butter, oils, spices etc.
Step 2 – Prepare Containers
You can use any container as long as they are clean. I have a pickle jar, mini canning jar, glass food storage container, paper bag and a cardboard egg carton *note these aren’t the containers I filled..I wasn’t organized and forgot to take a photo of the empty containers I used..sigh.
Step 3 – Tare Containers at the Counter
Go to the counter first and tare your containers before filling them! Very important! This is so you don’t pay for your container weight.
Step 4 – Shop!
I gave my empty egg carton to the vendor at the farmer’s market from whom I buy my eggs and put my produce directly in my basket with no extra bags or cartons. I brought my own paper bag for mushrooms rather than use a new one. I then filled my reusable containers with whatever I needed including using an old peanut butter jar that I thoroughly cleaned and filled with peanut butter again.
Step 5 – Pat Yourself on the Back
You did a good thing today. And the more you shop like this the easier it becomes. Sure, not everything is available, maybe a store near you won’t let you use your own container for meat and cheese from the deli but that’s ok because you’re reducing where you can and that’s the important thing, that we all try to make daily changes.