30 Day Zero Waste Challenge
Try to make the best choice you can. Plan ahead. And try not to be in a hurry. Speed and the need for convenience result in a lot of waste.
Here’s some tips for living plastic free and zero waste without bulk stores:
- Don’t buy stuff you don’t really need.
- Eat simply. More whole foods, packaged less.
- Look harder, talk more, search local businesses for bulk and package free
- Shop at farmers markets, sign up with a CSA (community-supported agriculture)
- Go direct to the producer
- Have a go at growing your own
- Work together and create bulk buying groups
- Connect with local sustainability groups
- Make it from scratch
NO BULK BINS? NO PROBLEM!
So you’re at the store and there are no bulk bins. How can you make the best choice. Ask yourself these questions.
- Can it be made from scratch?
“yogurt, hummus, tomato sauce, peanut butter, bread crumbs, stock, pesto, salad dressing, croutons, gravy, applesauce, granola bars…. etc….Pro Tip: Go to your local Mexican Restaurant for tortillas and tortilla chips. They typically make it fresh in house. I go in with my cloth bags and fill up on tortillas and chips!”
2: Can you buy it in a returnable container?
“Often times milk and yogurt come in glass. The bottles are collected at grocery stores and sent back to the farms. They also pay you for bringing your bottles back.”
3: Is it available in compostable packaging?
“A lot of baking supplies still come in paper bags like sugar and flour. Both of those are compostable. If you have municipal compost, put them in your bin. If you have a backyard compost, like me, I tear them in to small pieces. Place them in your pile or feed them to your worms! Viola – practically packageless.”
4: Does it come in glass?
“Glass is always my number one go to. It’s 100% recyclable. It is melted down to make new glass.”
5: Can I buy it loose in cardboard?
“This is becoming more and more rare. Manufacturers are starting to wrap the contents in plastic or paper and then put them in a cardboard box. But, occasionally somethings still come loose.”
6: If it comes in plastic, what’s the number? (See Day 28 for more information)
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, all plastic has a recycle sign on it. It doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that matters is the little number inside of the recycle sign. The higher the number the more likely it is to actually be downcycled. Most of the time plastic is just landfilled.”
HOW TO TARE A JAR IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS:
When bulk is available, do bring your own jars to fill.
Step 1: Choose your Jar
Step 2: Tare (pre-weigh) your jar. The cashier will subtract the weight of the jar from the total weight. Write the tare on your jar in permanent marker.
Step 3: Fill your jar and write down the number of the item you are buying.
Step 4: Tell the cashier the weight of your jar and they can deduct that from the total weight of the jar.
Step 5: Say THANK YOU to the awesome store for letting you bring your own packaging!
Thanks to these blogs for the content today: