I will start by saying that shopping in a zero-waste mindset can be a bit daunting. You have to remember your reusable shopping bags (no matter what you are purchasing), reusable produce bags, and any reusable container for whatever else you are buying. Have no fear though; it does get easier to remember as time goes by. Just remember that when you empty your bags after you get home from shopping, put them by the door so that you can put them in the vehicle the next time you go out. Also, if you don’t have any bags/containers that you can use (or not enough), shop the local thrift or second-hand stores. Get creative if they don’t have bags. If you see something that you think would make a good solid one, how can you turn it into a bag that would be easy to carry and store? See a good thick sheet? You can make several bags out of one twin sheet. What about pillowcases or t-shirts made of thick material? Think you are not moving towards a zero-waste life because you are purchasing something to repurpose to use? But you are! You aren’t creating a demand for the item by buying it brand new. You are saving something from ending up in a landfill somewhere.
It’s time for grocery shopping! It takes some research to find out if you have any stores/farmers markets around you that sell loose produce (without packaging) or bulk items (nuts, beans, spices, etc.). Don’t forget to call them and ask if they allow you to bring your own containers to put your purchases in. Most don’t have a problem with it; you just have to have them weigh the container first. If you should find one that does mind, then just use their bags and twist ties (making sure to label the twist tie really well) and take them back the next time you go back to that store. If you happen to eat eggs, honey, or meat, see if you can find an individual that you can purchase from. NEVER buy more than what you know you will use before it goes bad. That’s right, that is also a part of living a zero-waste lifestyle. Never purchase more than what you can utilize.
Now for regular shopping; i.e., household, clothing, etc. TAKE YOUR REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS AND CONTAINERS! I cannot say that enough. There will always be something that you have to purchase brand new. But for those things that you need for the household may be able to be bought from a bulk store (no, I’m not talking about Costco or Sam’s). Some cities have stores that carry bulk cleaning agents. Shop those thrift and second-hand stores for clothing or household items. You might even get lucky and find some great deals on name-brand products that are in great shape. Turn it into a scavenger hunt. It can be quite fun if you let it be. Are you still using paper towels? Why not use rags from some of your own towels that have seen better days or check those thrift stores.
Oh, there is one more thing I want to point out. If you don’t already know how to do this next thing, then learn. Cook your meals at home at least 80% of the time. Not only will you save money by not eating out, but you will not have to remember to take a container to put your food in (no use of styrofoam containers for take-out). Cooking can be fun if you allow it. One thing my mom and grandma taught me. When working with a new recipe, always make it according to the directions the first time around. After that, you can experiment with it. Above all else, remember to have fun. Cooking is just science. A science that you can play around with and not worry about blowing the home up with.
These are just a few ideas of mine. Ones that I’ve implemented in my life and find that I’m happier doing. Granted, I do sometimes forget still. But 90% of the time I’m on point. Lol
My next zero-waste post is going to be in two weeks. I’ll be discussing the different organizations you can get involved with. I’ll also be talking about some of my favorite blogs and YouTubers. I know that you are going to find it just as interesting and entertaining as this one. Please leave your questions and comments in the comments section below. Follow me on Twitter to see what else I’m into. Follow me on Instagram to see the scrumptious food that I make.
Until next time, my friends.