There is something very aesthetic about shopping zero waste style. Colourful goods in pretty glass jars, fresh fruit & veggies, beautiful treats, … This is so much more beautiful than plastic packaged goods in plastic bags, don’t you think?
These days I can’t go through a supermarket anymore without anxiety and discomfort. There is so much plastic and so few sustainably packaged articles! There is a pretty heavy duopoly here in Australia which I am not willing to support, so I am always opting for independent smaller businesses and that means I avoid the big supermarkets altogether. I buy about 98% of my groceries at only one place: my local bulkfood store – The Manly Food Co-Op. (Disclaimer: I am on the board and am running all marketing efforts, so I am a little biased I admit ;))
When you live in the major capital city areas, you have so much choice when it comes to shopping zero waste style. Different bulk food and health food stores – both independent and national franchises -, farmers markets where there is now often also a bulk food stall, buying co-operatives which buy in bulk and divide the goodies between their members, smaller independent supermarkets which often have a small bulk food section, green grocers, …
One might say that they can’t afford to buy at those smaller places which is fair enough, but the quality is so much better and the nutritional value of organic food is higher, so in the end you need less.
The other big issue seems to be time. Everyone is always busy running around, working, checking their social media, never stopping to look and appreciate what is around them. This is a self-made busy-ness which in reality doesn’t exist. Sometimes you just need to slow down. Bulk shopping let’s you do exactly that. And yes, it takes a lot longer, but that is part of the fun, at least in my opinion. 🙂
A little bit of preparation goes a long way and will make your shopping experience a good one. Write a shopping list, bring you own containers and reusable bags and time to explore the store. You probably won’t always find what you are looking for, but there will always be someone willing to help.
It’s quite easy to go bulk shopping, but it is a little different to how you would usually shop, so make sure you do the following once you are in the bulk food store:
- Weigh your containers and write the weight on them
- Fill up with what you need and write down the product codes
- Go to the checkout where the lovely staff will weigh everything and charge you only for what you need
Some things can be tricky to get into your own containers, so the shops usually provide spoons, scoops or funnels to make sure it is easy and there are no accidental spills. And if there are, don’t despair, this happens from time to time.
Most stores also provide paper bags, but I believe it is always better to opt for reusable alternatives as paper will only last a couple of shops. Or you can even choose from a range of free used clean jars. I have never had a single breakage when transporting or refilling, so no need to worry about using glass as long as you take the usual care.
Bulk Shopping is beautiful. I love the beauty and simplicity of glass jars. And even better you don’t pay for packaging and branding. What is there not to love?
What do you like about bulk shopping?