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Tips on how to shop for zero waste  RSS feed

 
Shaz Jameson
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The Zero Waste Chef is a brilliant blog, go check her out.

She has a great post on practices to shop for zero waste: 'Good, Better, Best Zero-Waste Shopping'.

It varies from buying practices, storage, extending the season (fermentation! hurrah!) and generally being permie about it all. I would also add composting to zero waste lifestyle.

Tips from the post:



Best practices

Bulk Food

If you have access to bulk bins in a store that allows you to bring your own containers, then you can shop with:

Glass jars. Just make sure you get these tared—in other words, weighed—before you fill them with food. You don’t want to have to pay for the weight of the jar, especially if you buy tea that costs $40 per pound. Where I live, some stores set out scales and you weigh and mark the jar yourself with a sticker (or with a china marker on the glass). At other stores, customer service will weigh and mark the jars for you.

Metal containers. Get these tared also. My small LunchBots are a good size for bulk candy😉

Cloth produce bags. These work well for “chunkier” food, like bulk pasta, beans, rice, popcorn, oats and granola.

 
Julia Winter
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That's a great blog, that's for the pointer!

I need to sew some bags for food, maybe that would help decrease my plastic use.  I already have a nice selection of canvas shopping bags, and I'm lucky that I can buy delicious milk in reuseable glass jars.
 
Deb Rebel
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I use old sheer curtains for all sorts of things for growing, and sewed a large selection of produce bags with yarn drawstrings. That way I have useful 'me size' bags that can be used again and again. As well as my assortment of jars and bottles for bulk.

Though these days I tend to buy a lot of my staples (cashews, nutritive yeast flakes, soybeans (non-GMO organic and gluten free), coconut oil, etc) direct ship bulk. I get a better price, I don't pay tax (this state still taxes food), it comes to my door, and I know who had their hand in it last. (I have seen kids wipe the bulk chutes with their hand and lick off the powder-many times), so I would rather buy prepackaged (back room) bulk or get it myself.

Sheer curtains, are very versatile. I use them for bloom/fruit bagging (I want to control a pollination or protect a young fruit while it sets from insects...this year I had to bag my tomatoes to get any, the grasshoppers ate them as fast as I got some). Lay two panels together and sew long strips, double seam, then cut apart and sew again, rows of double seams, to make individual pockets. Cut apart, turn the top and run a seam, then thread in a scrap of string or yarn. Wash them between uses and you will have a much better tote-it than the store produce bags. I attached a tag to each one and had them tared so that can be adjusted (when buying expensive per ounce stuff you want that bag tared out).
Bagettes.jpg
[Thumbnail for Bagettes.jpg]
 
Hans Quistorff
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Produce that is packed in the field like cabbage and celery ar packed in waxed cartons so that they can be cooled with water and ice. This paraffin soaked paper can not be recycled so the supermarkets send it to the land fill. I ask for these when I am shopping and cut them in pieces for fire starting. The paraffin soaked paper burns like a candle until it brings the wood up to kindling temperature.
 
John Polk
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...packed in waxed cartons...

Most of those waxed cartons are quite durable.
They make great storage bins, particularly for damp locations.

(I have also used them for tents over tender plants if it is expected to be frosty overnight.  They can withstand a fair amount of drizzle before they become useless.)
 
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