Picture grocery aisles without unnecessary plastic packaging. Sound impossible?

I grew up in a small city (Arhavi) in Turkey. I remember my childhood times. My mother used to go to a cleaning supplies store and fill the cleaning products in reusable containers.

Let me tell a better one. We’re Laz people. Laz language (Lazca) doesn’t have a word for trash because there wasn’t that concept in the old times. Everything was reusable or not needed to produce waste. Unfortunately, we have reached a lifestyle where we consume everything like a monster (like the rest of the world.)

Now. Again, picture a zero-waste grocery shopping. Still impossible?

Not at all.

Our weekly zero-waste grocery shopping can contribute to a healthier planet.

Ready for a change?

What is zero-waste grocery shopping?

Zero-waste grocery shopping is a movement to eliminate or reduce food waste, single-use plastics, or packaging. Yes, there isn’t so much zero-waste grocery stores. However, we still try to go zero-waste grocery shopping as far as possible.

Horrible fact: Around a third of all plastic packaging in the global market leaks from collection systems, polluting the environment.

How do you shop for zero-waste in a grocery store?

Carry reusable shopping bags

Carrying reusable shopping bags is one of the first and easy things you can do. Hey, you don’t have to buy fancy and costly cloth bags. Turn your old clothes into shopping bags. Besides, even old plastic bags in the kitchen can be reusable. You got the idea.

Calculate how much you need bags when shopping. Then prepare them according to various sizes. I don’t have a sewing machine, so I brought old t-shirts to a tailor. The price was affordable in my region for this basic work.

Shopping from open-air marketplaces is always cheaper. Plus, before going to shop, make a list depending on your weekly meal plan. It’ll save time and money, while avoiding food waste.

Bring your own food containers

You can bring suitable containers from home when you want to buy ready-made food, dessert, or appetizers. For this reason, always keep various containers from previous products. Later, you can reuse them. First, ask to weigh an empty container before putting the food in.

Buy in Bulk

You can buy frequently used products in bulk if you have enough space to store them. Products with small packages can be more expensive. Besides, buying in bulk will also let you have less package usage.

Choose the right packaging

There are many brands for the same product. This means different packaging. Think about it before buying. Then make your choice. Reusable glass packaging? Or disposable ones? Or regular plastic packages?

As I always say, changing habits is challenging, but you can start somewhere. Just, no need to put pressure on you. Enjoy the adventure of going to a zero-waste lifestyle step by step. This is a change that also improves your living standard.

Let’s try zero-waste grocery shopping to avoid plastic for a week and see how will it go.