Zero waste grocery shopping

As consumers, most of our shopping results in waste. There are many ways to reduce the amount of waste associated with the products you buy, specifically at the grocery store.

Reusable bags are a must have. They have them at all the grocery stores. I decided long ago that if I ended up at the store without my reusable bags, I would buy new ones. This helped to increase the number of bags I owned, but also gave me incentive to remember them. You can also get them on Amazon, this way you can really find ones that you love. Make sure you have an assortment of bags, big, small, insulated etc.

You can also reduce your waste by bringing your own produce bags. Instead of grabbing one of those plastic bags off the roll to put your apples in, bring your own set of produce bags. These can be mesh or even made of cotton. When I go to the store I use 8-10 of them. I use them for apples, oranges, pears, potatoes, etc. If your store provides a bulk goods section you can also use these for almonds, cashews or really anything that wont fall through the holes.

Whole foods is really good about letting me provide my own containers for meat. I simply take a glass Pyrex container and ask the guy behind the counter to just put my 2 lbs of ground beef in my container instead of using the Styrofoam and cellophane. I have found that most stores sell their chicken prepackaged so keep that in mind. Whole food also sells eggs individually, so you can bring your own egg carton and just refill it. I also ask the deli to put my sliced meat and cheese into paper sandwich bags I can later compost.

Glass bottles for milk are wonderful. You might have to pay a few extra dollars for the bottles when you purchase the milk, but when you return them to the store, they refund the cost of the bottle to you. I buy regular, buttermilk and chocolate milk this way.

Overtime you can also choose products with less packaging. This will all depend on where you shop and what you buy. Once you start these habits, it becomes a lot easier to spot the ways you can decrease the amount of waste coming into your home.

Make sure to keep all of these items in your car since you don't want to run by the store on the way home and not have your supplies.

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