Ever since I moved to my new hometown, I've taken up zero waste shopping. After extended research, I chose one place to shop, but gradually found alternatives: a new farmers market in my neighborhood, and a cooperative.
But anyways, no matter where I chose to shop, my shopping kit basically stays the same.
So, after weeks of trial, I am proud to introduce my Ultimate Zero Waste Shopping Kit:
- Reusable totes
I use one that was given to me at an event. It is super convenient as it has a small pocket inside where I can put my crayon, phone, card holder and keys. But I love this market bag that my rad forager friend Kristin hand dyes. From experience, I usually need two bags anyways since the jars can be pretty heavy and I don't want to smash my fruits and vegetables in one single bag. So I have a good excuse to get it!
- Water-soluble wax crayon (or felt-tip pen)
The felt-tip pen is not conscious, I know, but I still have a bunch of these in stock from the coworking space I used to run in California. I use them to write the tare and reference code on the jars and bags. I usually write the tare at home on top of the containers, and then add the code while shopping, and since I use the same containers each time and usually buy the same products, this process tends to only be a one-time thing.
- Produce bags
I seem to never have enough of these, and since I am about to start a cleanse including 99% fruits and vegetables (I totally made up that number), I definitely need to get more!
- Mason jars (for nuts, cocoa powder, honey)
I ordered a couple of wide-mouth ones.
- Big canning jars (for almonds, granola, flour, meat, fish, coffee)
I got a few of these at a famous Scandinavian franchise, but similar ones can be found online.
- Glass swing top bottles (for vinegar, shampoo, wine)
- Growler (for beer)
I refill my growler at a brewery which is within walking distance from my house.
UPDATE: All these items and many more are now available in my shop.
In other words, before leaving the house, I put in my shopping bag any empty jar or container (spice jar, oil cruet with a sprout and cap) from my pantry which is labelled with its original content. This makes the shopping list writing and the unpacking so much easier!
I've only had positive reactions from the shopping attendants. They love my way of shopping, are super helpful with the taring process, make nice comments about some of my unusual containers (I brought some super cute one from a trip to Morocco) and are thankful to be spared from bagging my shopping (I just put everything back into my tote).
Also, whenever I leave the house, I tend to have in my car, a bag containing a mason jar & stainless steel straws (for a juice or bubble tea stop), produce bags (for fruit or croissants) and a big empty canning jar (for restaurant leftovers) in order to always be ready and avoid waste.
What about you, did you try zero waste shopping? I know it sounds scary, but I did it! I'd love to hear how it went. Feel free to share your experience with me or ask any question about zero waste shopping in the comment section, or on social media with the #consciousby hashtag!