I’ve blogged about my grocery-getting routine before and not a whole lot will change since heading for zero waste (other than being more diligent and committed!), but I thought it was worth updating on.
I still use my favorite muslin bags and Envirosax (the pattern I have is no longer available). I’ve added to my zero waste kit these big canvas bags with jar sleeves and mesh produce bags. The canvas bags are so sturdy, and they will also be great for picnics since they hold up jars/wine bottles perfectly!
At the store, rather than use provided plastic bags for produce and bulk items, I use the mesh and muslin bags (I previously only had a couple of each so I’ve added to my stash to completely prevent having to use plastic). At home, I decant the items into glass mason jars or Glasslock containers. I use a bit of Washi tape and a Sharpie to label them. A lot of produce can stay loose in the fridge or fruit basket on the counter. No more ugly bags!
I’ve yet to need bakery, dairy and deli items since beginning zero waste (I am trying to use up things in the pantry and freezer before shopping), but those items will definitely be more challenging. I already have a good practice for some things, or a plan in place to at least minimize the waste:
- Milk – We already have this delivered weekly in returnable/refillable bottles.
- Almond milk/creamer – I make my own.
- Yogurt – I now make my own with milk.
- Eggs – We have chickens, so we just collect the eggs in recycled cartons again and again.
- Cheese/meats – Hoping I can ask deli counter/butcher block to fill my glass jars with no funny looks or refusal!
- Bakery – I’ll ask to have my bread order put into a bag/pillowcase I will bring with me (or just make my own bread). Again, a bit nervous about asking!
- Toiletry items – Look for a bulk source (possibly will have to make a biyearly drive to the nearest to stock up?) and make my own as much as I can. This will be a fun challenge to me because I’m odd like that.
- Anything I can’t find in bulk – buy in glass or paper packaging. No more plastic!
I’ll do another post with actual photos of my haul next time I do a grocery trip, but so far I have been working on using up what we already had accumulated so I haven’t done a grocery trip since December 28 (and even then for only for 4 items!).
I’m not even close to perfect, but with a bit of pre-planning I’ve already prevented a LOT of plastic waste from heading to the landfill. It adds up so quickly. I’m still beginning and if I can find items I need loose, or in glass/paper packaging I feel like I’m doing pretty well. However, the bar gets higher for myself each day, which is a great thing!