Zero-waste has become a household word. For good reason. I am always amazed at how much food is wrapped in plastic when I go grocery shopping. For a long time, I have been trying to cut down on plastic wrapping and grocery bags because they just end up in the landfill. Normally, plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. But plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more (link).
For my own zero-waste grocery shopping, I love bringing my groceries home in my own basket or tote. Especially one, that I can just throw in the trunk or squeeze in anywhere in my car. A French market tote is both beautiful and practical. You can get one here or here.
When not shopping at the farmer’s market, I mostly go to my local organic food-coop because I just love how many items they carry in bulk. It doesn’t get more zero-waste than that! They even sell items such as olive oil, miso, and detergent in bulk! I can bring my own bags, containers, or mason jars. Then I just get a tare weight, save extra packaging, and get 5 cents of for every bag or container I bring. What a win-win! Sometimes, I do calculate how much plastic I have kept out of the landfill. For “wet” groceries such as lettuce or basil I use mesh bags like these.
For my dry items such as nuts, beans, or grains, I use cotton bags of various sizes. Some time ago, I made those out of an old, lightly stained table cloth (as you can see in the picture 😜). I call this a double zero-waste, as I kept on old table cloth out of the trash AND made reusable bags out of it. Stay tuned for a tutorial!
These just live in the bottom of my market tote so that I always have them ready to go.
Here are some simple steps you can take today:
- bring your own grocery bags
- consider keeping some grocery bags in your car for those spontaneous shopping trips
- consider shopping at store that offer
- invest in or buy reusable bags for dry goods and for produce
I would love to hear your comments below on how you like to cut down on plastic and packaging!
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