Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Zero waste bulk stores are not available everywhere. Where I live we have a few in the larger cities and that’s about it. This is not very convenient for daily groceries. Here you can read 5 tips to do your daily groceries relatively waste-free without a bulk store.
Go for a different type of packaging instead of plastic.
Aluminum, glass, and cardboard are all better options compared to plastic. Some jars may look like glass but are plastic, unfortunately. So, be careful. Another advantage of glass jars is that when it is empty, you have an empty jar to store other food or snacks in.
Make it yourself
A lot of pre-made spice mixes can easily be made yourself. This not only tastes a lot better and is great for the environment but it is also a lot healthier because you can regulate the amount of salt you add.
I have a bread-making machine that next to making bread, is also used for making a cake, jam, and dough. The latter is great when you want to make your own pizza. The machine does everything from kneading to rising and kneading again. I just put all the ingredients in the machine and after about 90 minutes I have pizza dough. Now I only need to roll it out, put all ingredients on top of it and put it into the oven.
Buy in bulk
The flour I buy at the mill (I am Dutch so plenty of mills but grocery stores sometimes also have large bags of flour) in bags of 10kg. Pasta I also buy in bulk. This saves a lot of packaging and a lot of money too.
Coffee and tea I buy in a specialty store that is ok with me bringing my own containers. I think I am the only one who brings their own can for coffee beans but I don’t really care about that. I care more about not using plastic.
Often smaller stores are more open to bringing your own container. Use this as an advantage.
Eat less meat or no meat at all
The production of meat is one of the largest producers of methane and greenhouse gasses.
Try to make a meal with beans or nuts more often. I am not a big fan of tofu either so I cook with beans and nuts often.
Go to a farmers market
Bring your own cotton bags to a farmers market nearby. You not only have a large choice in fruits, vegetables, and nuts but these products are not pre-packed saving you a lot of packaging. Products on a farmers market are also cheaper and locally produced reducing your carbon footprint.
I hope this list gives you some inspiration for doing groceries more sustainable.