ZERO WASTE SHOPPING – DO’S & DON’TS
Zero-waste living seems to be the new buzzword doing the rounds and unlike other fads, thankfully this movement has been steadily gaining traction over the years. Zero-waste is all about lessening your carbon footprint and ensuring that less of your trash ends up in landfills. Although zero-waste living might require tweaking your daily habits, the truth of the matter is that it’s not as difficult or overwhelming a challenge as people might make it out to be. Yes, it does take a little extra effort but the fact that you will be making a tangible difference to the environment will definitely bode well for your conscience. Moreover, zero-waste living can actually create savings for you as well – definite win-win!
If you have been looking to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle but didn’t know where to begin or who to ask, read on for some shopping tips that will help reduce your mark on the landfills significantly.
- Packaging easily ranks as the most wasteful part of our daily lives – this includes the various types of plastic produce bags, plastic packaged goods and even plastic containers which are a commonplace in any supermarket aisle today. Here’s what you need to do – make cloth produce bags your best friend and use them instead of disposable plastic bags to go waste-free. Use it to bag vegetables and fruits and make it a part of your strategic shopping routine. If you are willing to go a little further and are a DIY sort of a person, you could even use old pillow covers in lieu of cloth bags. They work like a charm and trust us – it’s the little things like these that make a whole world of difference.
- Next time you hit the market, ensure that you bring your own glass containers or mason jars to refill for any meat, deli, cheese, and bulk foods like tea, spices, oils and even personal care products. The bulk aisle is not only a great way to shop plastic-free but several of these items tend to far cheaper when bought in bulk vis-à-vis the packaged versions—especially spices!
- If you like treating yourself to a coffee or a smoothie post-grocery runs, then it makes sense to carry along with you a glass cup or stainless steel tumbler. Ditching those takeaway cups couldn’t be any simpler. While you're at it, carry reusable straws made out of metal or silicone that can last for ages!
- Make sure to plan ahead and not rush into shopping. Spontaneous shopping trips can leave you underprepared and you might end up buying more than you bargained. Preparing grocery lists and keeping spare cloth bags in your car can go a long way in reducing the excesses in your life while ensuring that you’re always prepared even if an unplanned purchase happens.
- Say no to receipts, unnecessary food tags, stickers and paper lists which usually end up going into the trash.
And finally, the best way to go zero waste without giving up your life is to simplify! Don’t beat yourself up even if you forget these tips every now and then. With a little bit of planning and practice, you will gradually be able to implement these adjustments and bring about a change in your shopping routine.