A zero waste shopping trip cannot be successful if you are unprepared, but with a little bit of preplanning and thought you can shop for your food plastic and packaging free whilst also setting a good shopping habit, that will soon become second nature.
Here are my top 7 tips for a successful zero waste shopping trip!
Meal plan and write a shopping list
If you plan out your meals for the week ahead, you can shop for only the food you need for your meals. This has many benefits, including saving yourself money (as long as you don't get too sidetracked by special offers and discounts!), saving yourself time, especially if you then go on to meal prep for the week ahead, as well as losing weight if that's what you're trying to do! Buying only what you need means you have your set food for the week, no veering off track...
Use reusable shopping bags
Oh I know, this one is obvious! Since the plastic bag charge being introduced a couple of years ago there has been a massive reduction in people using plastic carrier bags, but I am still surprised that I often see people buying them at the checkout!
Take cloth produce bags
I have to say, these have been a huge game changer on my zero waste shopping trips! They are obviously used for loose fruits and veg, but can also be used for a criossant in the bakery and loose dried foods like rice, dried beans, dried fruit etc..
Use large glass containers
Saving really useful glass containers are not only great to storing leftovers in the fridge, but they can be used on your zero waste shopping trip too. Glass jars, as well as large stainless steel lunch boxes are perfect for using behind the deli counter for cheese, meat and fish along with olives and other deli items.
Buy in bulk
I am lucky enough to have not one, but two zero waste shops in Bristol along with many other shops that sell dried loose produce. And this is exactly what the term 'buy in bulk' means in the zero waste world. We're not indicating you grab as many potatoes as you possibly fit into your bag, no we're talking grains, dried beans, dried fruit, loose flour, loose tea, loose coffee beans. If you have the luxury of a zero waste shop near you, you'll knnow you can get almost anything loose, but if you don't there are always places dotted around that offer some things in bulk.
Buy loose produce
This leads nicely onto my next tip, and that is to buy all your fruit and vegetables loose! Often supermarkets offer both options, so opt for loose. Greengrocers are even better but if you want to be totally sure and find things like loose greens then follow my last zero waste shopping tip....
Shop at farmers markets
I LOVE shopping this way, not only can you shop zero waste in almost all instances, but you get to meet the farmer or producer as you are buying the item and often the produce has minimal food miles due to farmers markets supporting only local producers. You can get to know what's in season, eating only the veg which is ready at this time meaning you are eating the most nutritional food for you in this season.
I hope you found these tips useful, and if you have any more let me know I love hearing about people's tips for zero waste living!