Best Places For Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

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One of the best ways to start living more sustainability is with your buying habits. The first place I started was with my groceries. It’s shocking to see how often packaging is used for food that doesn’t really need it. I’ll go to places like Costco and they have individual avocados or apples in a plastic container. It makes absolutely no sense to wrap something that already has its own natural shield. Avoiding purchases like this each time you go grocery shopping really adds up and starts to make a big impact. These are a few places you can go just about anywhere that provide you with options to grocery shop zero waste or close to it.

Sprouts/ Wholefoods:

These are awesome grocery stores that are located throughout the US. They offer loose produce with minimal plastic (produce stickers, ties etc.) and an excellent bulk section. You can find anything from seasonings to candy to peanut butter and protein powder all in bulk. Not to mention a lot of their other items do come in glass or aluminum packaging which it optimal over plastic.

Local Co-op:  

A co-op is owned and governed by its members, who are the people who use it, rather than by stockholders. And, profits are reinvested in the co-op or distributed to its members. I do not belong to my local co-op but I’m still able to shop there and it’s so far my favorite place to go for zero waste necessities other than produce. Co-ops provide just about everything in bulk. For example mine has shampoo, conditioner, dish soap olive oil, honey, syrup, laundry soap, jojoba oil and much more all in bulk. That is what I especially like about co-ops is because you not only get the bulk dry goods and produce but all other items you typically buy that are packaged in plastic. You can also find a lot of ingredients in bulk at your local co-op for example some co-ops may have bulk shea butter, cocoa butter, lavender buds and Castile soap. I like to use these items to make other zero waste goodies.

Farmers markets

Just about every town or city has a local farmers market. This is a space for farmers and people who make and sell their own products get together and directly sell to the public. Countries all over the world have farmers markets. From the traditional “mercados” in the Peruvian Andes to the unique street markets in Asia. Markets are great place to go to buy fresh all natural produce with no packaging all while supporting your local farmers and small businesses. Also they’re really fun and a great way to spend a Sunday or Saturday morning. You never know what you’ll find at your local farmers market.

Butcher

If you do eat meat it can be a very challenging to buy it zero waste. But what you can do is go to your local butcher or deli and ask them if you could use your own containers. Some will say no but some may say yes so it never hurts to ask. If you aren’t allowed too, ask for a paper bag instead. That’s what I do then you can compost it later. Make sure you always get the tare weight before you fill up your jars or glass. Items found at your local butcher or deli shop are always priced per a certain weight which makes it easy to buy in bulk just like you would for almonds or oranges. Also be sure the places you are buying your meat from, adhere to ethical and humane practices.

Always remember you vote with your dollar! So, if you stop buying items that are surrounded in plastic and excess packaging companies will have no choice but to stop and find more sustainable options. It’s up to us to change the way we shop because in the end we have the power, let’s start using it!

*** I know that the most environmental option would be to eat no meat at all but I wanted to be all inclusive with this blog post which is why I included a section on how to buy meat zero waste because not everybody who is working towards a sustainable lifestyle is vegetarian or vegan***

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