• Anita Vandyke

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

Updated: Jan 25, 2018

A comprehensive guide on zero waste shopping at the bulk store. This is a guide for those who have a bulk store near them. I will be doing a seperate blog post on zero waste shopping at your local grocery store.



Zero waste shopping does not take any extra time than normal shopping. It just requires a little bit of planning and prep work.


Here’s what I do...


Prep work

1. Write a comprehensive list of all the items I need. I only visit the bulk store every 2-3 weeks. 2. Put together my zero waste shopping kit with jars and produce bags 3. Bring some extra jars for impulse buys


Tare the jars

1. At the bulk store, make sure you weigh the jars first and write the weight on the jar. You can use stickers or a whiteboard marker.

2. To streamline the process, I weigh every single jar that I bring before I start filling them up - this saves you from going back and forth between the scales and the produce.


Fill the jars and produce bags

1. Fill up your produce bags with the items on your list! Don't forget to write the code for the cashier!


Checking out

1. Make it easy for the cashier, line up your jars and produce bags.

2. Keep an eye on the register to make sure the cashier removes the weight of the your jars from the final weight.

3. Pack all your jars standing up so they don't fall. Using a straw basket helps cushion the jars. Make sure your lids are screwed on tightly!


Notes on zero waste shopping

- My husband drinks milk and he has found a brand that sells it in glass containers which you can bring back and recycle! Try seeing if there are zero waste options that suit your needs.

- Zero waste living is not about perfection, it is simply about making better choices. Look at the picture above, all the plastic packaged salad leaves are right on top of the loose leaves! A few extra seconds, you can prevent excess packaging just by refilling your own produce bags instead of buying something pre-packaged. We all live busy lives, but should the price of convenience cost us the long term health of our planet? That's the key with zero waste living, it doesn't have be hard. It's about making simple switches.


- Plastic-free shopping has now become a habit for me. It didn’t take long, all I had to do was replace my old habits with new ones!

I hope this guide helps you, remember, every store is different, the key is to try your best and not be too daunted by it.


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