What I learned on my first zero-waste bulk shopping trip


New year, new intentions! This year, I've begun my journey to using less waste. WOOHOO! Mostly I am focusing in on reducing plastic wherever I can. A few weeks ago, I tried my first ever shopping trip using jars and fabric bags to buy package free, bulk. Here's what I learned:

1. Earthfare has LIQUID bulk items.

I knew I could buy dried goods in bulk- qunioa, rice, nuts, trail mix etc. I am no stranger to the wide assortment of dry goodies! However, I did not realize that LIQUID items are also sold in bulk. Good thing I brought my trusty jars, because I was able to get honey and olive oil!

2. You can subtract jar weight.

It's super easy to buy package free bulk even if you don't yet own the fancy 'zero waste linen produce bags'. Just weigh your empty jar, and tell the cashier, and they will subtract the weight from your order.

3. I have a lot to learn.

I am no where near being able to call myself 'ZERO WASTE!" Mad respect for all you hardcore tree huggers out there sacrificing OJ and canned goods. Although the packaging on these items are recyclable, it still takes massive amounts of energy to complete the recycling process. The glass jars (Kombucha and vitamins) I will reuse for more bulk items once I use them up, but the rest of this stuff is going to be tricky to figure out how to work around moving forward. The eggs and berries will be available come Springtime at the Farmer's Market where I can get them package free.

4. I did end up making some produce bags after all.

Because I didn't want to make a purchase (when the whole point of less waste is less consumerism) and we had some old pillow cases, I decided to make my own produce bags. I sewed them up and made a twine drawstring so that I can cinch them tight when full. Bonus points: the pillow cases were a sentimental item that no longer suited our bed, so rather that giving to Goodwill, we will now be able to use them in a more functional way!