Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Waste free grocery haul

One of my favorite traditions that came from beginning my waste-free lifestyle is our weekly trip to the farmers market. Rain or shine, we head out early Saturday morning, fill up out reusable mugs at our favorite coffee shop, and pick up some beautiful goodies! We then head over to our local co-op to grab stuff in bulk (rice, coffee, granola, pasta, etc).

What to bring:
Whenever I go shopping I always bring large reusable bags, hand-crocheted produce bags, hand made cloth bulk bags, a few China pens (wax pens that can write on pretty much anything!) and a few mason jars. I consider these to be my essentials for waste free shopping!

some mason jars, bulk bags I sewed with Muslin and leftover ribbon, crocheted produce bags

How to shop:
You might be wondering how all of this works. Here are the basics!
1. I try to buy things with no packaging. For example, I will get mushrooms out of the bulk container instead of buying a package of them. That way I don't have all of that gross plastic wrap and styrofoam that heads straight to a landfill! There is some waste that comes along with produce, such as stickers, twist ties, and rubber bands. I reuse the twist ties, donate the rubber bands to my office, and unfortunately throw away the stickers (hint- produce at the farmers markets typically don't have stickers!). As for dry goods/liquids, I get the "tare" of whatever containers I am using that day. This is the starting weight of the container, so you are only paying for what is inside, and not the weight of the container as well! I mark this on the top of the container with my China pen, along with the PLU. Then I am ready to fill it up!
2. If I cannot get something without packaging, I try my best to get it in either cardboard or glass. Both of these can be recycled, and glass is the best because it doesn't loose and of it's quality when it is recycled- for example, a glass jar can be recycled into another jar that is just as strong. Cardboard can be recycled and sometimes even composted, if it is free of any shiny finishes.

My waste free haul this week! Not pictured: one giant napa cabbage and a daikon radish, which both quickly became kimchi. The yogurt container and egg carton will be returned to the co-op to be reused.

And those are the basics- are you going to start taking some strides towards shopping without waste??

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