6. Better Grocery Shopping

This is going to take time as I explore what is out there at different stores. 

Grocery shopping officially gives me a headache now because I’m searching for a) healthy choices, b) affordable choices, and now c) recyclable, reusable or no packaging.

Presently, I’ve stopped buying produce in plastic. I buy the loose carrots and now have to cut them into smaller pieces for lunches. I buy loose peppers. I buy the large cucumber (that doesn’t taste nearly as good as the ones wrapped in plastic, alas). etc. etc. I buy berries only once a month as a treat now. I do love my berries, but those huge clam shells stab me in the heart each time I put one in my shopping cart now that I know my local recycling program won’t take them anymore.

I’m researching bulk options.  This will be a slow process as I have to take the time to price check (the small fine print on the grocery store shelves will tell you how much money per 100g) and compare to the bulk version at our local bulk store.

What I have learned so far….

Nuts are more expensive at the bulk store. Way more expensive. So now I buy them in large plastic containers which can go in our blue bag or can be reused to hold other things.

Quick oats and regular oats are comparable, so I will now buy them at the bulk store, taking in my own container to be weighed before I pour.

I bought our first set of straws at a wine store.  The second set I bought online so I could get the brush cleaner with them. You can find paper straws at the Dollar Store!

It's a Beautiful World!

Let's do our part!

Antibes, FRANCE

What does your family do for waste reduction? Please share your tips and experiences via email, twitter or facebook!

“The Earth is what we all have in common."
~ Wendell Berry

Family Ideas

2. No More plastic Straws!

I keep a bag of stainless-steel straws in my purse for the whole family. The hardest part is to remember to say “No straws please!” when ordering a drink at a restaurant.

 We’ve a long way to go but it’s a start.

What are your goals?  What 6 things will you do to start living Waste Free?





By the DOOR

in my PURSE

I bought my first set of reusable produce bags from the grocery store but when I went to buy more they no longer sold them.  I bought my second set of reusable produce bags online.

4. Re-using Re-sealable bags and Re-thinking food storage by finding alternatives:

I wash old re-sealable bags and turn inside out to dry.  I do use them a lot in the freezer so by reusing and not buying anymore that will help a bit.

I had some cloth sandwich and snack bags from a store (that is now sadly no longer in Canada so I cannot buy more) which I use all the time. I love them and use them often. I found some zippered snack bags online. I have also started to use beeswax food wrap.

My mom and I (mostly my mom because as artistic as I am, I cannot sew for the life of me) have made some new cloth bags using a table cloth and velcro.

I like to use mason jars and other glass containers and recycled jars to store homemade salad dressings, raisins from the bulk store, pasta in my pantry (which I will see if I can buy in bulk next time) etc. etc..

3. Carry Your Own Cup!

I have a fun coffee cup with a lid my neighbour gave me as a "Thank You" gift and that now lives in my gym bag for impromptu coffee time.  I also keep another coffee thermos in the car, along with two reusable cups with lids for the kids for smoothie type drinks. I have an envelope of paper straws with these as well. I've chucked in a few plastic containers to use for leftovers on those rare times we go out for dinner.

in the car

in the car

There are all sorts of ways we can reduce our waste!

I also keep camping cutlery (yes plastic but they are sturdy and reusable), and chop sticks with my bag of stainless steel straws.

As well as the shopping bag, i have a small water bottle, homemade hand sanitizer, and some straws and cutlery in my purse.

5. Litter-less lunches

I’ve always used a re-usable lunch bag so that didn’t change. For a long time now I have only packed water bottles in my kids lunch (mostly because when they were little they never could finish a full drink box and I found it a waste) but now I do it for a waste-free lunch.

I use plastic containers and cloth bags for everything in it.

Until I have time to make homemade applesauce and freeze in cubes, I buy applesauce only in large containers because our recycling program will not take the small cups. I now scoop out from the big and put into reusable containers.  I reuse plastic spoons that I’ve collected over the years (I’ve never liked throwing them out) and when those break I will use metal ones.

I’ve stopped buying little snacks in individual packages. I buy pretzels in bulk to pack in re-useable alternatives at home. I also make more homemade goodies, which of course takes time, but I double the recipes now and get my kids to help bake.  I make big batches of muffins to freeze in a resealable bag that I’ve used before (see point 4). I make big batches of cookies to freeze as well.   I found a great recipe for homemade granola bars which I make, wrap in parchment paper, and freeze.

I hope to swap out paper napkins (which now go into our compost as the kids always bring the soiled ones home) to cloth ones. 

1. Only Re-usable Grocery Bags

I leave my shopping bins and bags (plus my reusable produce bags) In the back of my car. I also keep a wine bag there, too (a bag with slots for the bottles).

In my purse, I keep at least 1 reusable bag.

On a hook by the door I keep a few more reusable bags and some re-usable produce bags for quick trips across the street, plus a single wine bag.

I will no longer accept plastic bags personally. If I forget to tell the cashier, I will just remove the items and fill up my own bag and hand back the plastic one.

I am daunted and overwhelmed by all this!  I don't know where to begin!!!

My goal for the rest of 2018 is to start small with 6 tasks that focus on food and kitchen.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi


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Waste Reduction Week/ Low Waste Lifestyle