How Shopping Waste-Free is Better for Your Health and the Planet – Plus 3 Easy Tips to Help You Do it

Going to the grocery store while you’ve determined to embark on a waste-free lifestyle can really feel a bit bit like, effectively, being a vegan in the midst of a steakhouse. Okay, possibly that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it surely at all times looks as if when you’ve dedicated to eliminating one thing out of your life, on this case, undesirable plastic and packaging, it turns up in all places!

Let’s face it, we stay in a society that appreciates comfort and sees extreme packaging as a “safety” measure, fairly than the persistent environmental pollutant. But, contemplating the truth that this mindset has dug us right into a pit of plastic packaging about 13 million tons deep, as Green Monsters we merely can’t justify persevering with on, enterprise as regular. Or fairly, packaging as regular.

So, whereas coming into the grocery retailer and solely purchasing for gadgets which are package-free may take a little extra pre-planning and some creativity, figuring out that in so doing you’re keeping packaging out of landfills is certain to ease your thoughts. Not to say, that is hardly the one profit you will note from buying on this method. In reality, by shopping for gadgets which have minimal-to-no packaging waste, you’re additionally most likely going to buy more whole foods which are far more nutritious than their pre-packaged counterparts.

In impact, while you grocery shop waste-free, you’re doing a kindness to each the planet and your physique on the similar time. We can get on board with that!

Now that you simply’re on the waste-free train, right here’s a easy information that will help you navigate the grocery retailer like a health- and eco-conscious professional.

1. Make a Plan

The first step in eliminating waste out of your grocery routine begins in your very personal kitchen. Before you make a run out to the shop, take stock of what you may have in your cupboards in order that you already know you’re solely making a listing of belongings you really want (Remember, meals waste is one other main environmental scourge!). When you’re trying to decrease packaging waste, take this into consideration when pre-planning. For instance, in case you usually eat a pre-packaged granola bar for breakfast, take into consideration how you would make a waste-free various. Maybe as an alternative of consuming a processed bar, you select to make your own with gadgets yow will discover within the bulk bins. Or ditch the bar altogether and choose up some recent fruit in your morning meal.

Go by way of every meal and take into consideration the place in your routine you go for pre-packaged, processed meals for the sake of comfort. To assist you to get began planning for fast, entire meals meals and snacks (which are naturally waste-free), take a look at this awesome guide or this helpful article. You may must step outdoors of your frozen burrito consolation zone, however when you do, we promise you’ll be the higher for it.

Once you’ve obtained your listing deliberate, take inventory of your trusty reusable grocery-holders. If you’re planning on doing per week’s value of buying, make sure to come ready with sufficient reusable bags or glass jars for produce and bulk gadgets. If that is only a fast journey to the shop, solely deliver as many reusable luggage/jars as you want, it will assist to maintain you from straying from the listing and ending up with a complete cart of snacks. (You may minimize down on shopping for extraneous gadgets by limiting your self to a basket fairly than going for the cart.)

2. Fresh Produce is Your New Best Friend

Most grocery shops are laid out so the very first thing you see while you step by way of doorways is the produce part. Considering that this part will turn out to be your new greatest pal in your waste-free way of life journey, it’s at all times a terrific thought to hit the produce first.

Snack-Time Solutions

With a bit prep work, vegetables and fruit make nice snacks when you’re on the run. If you often snack while you’re within the automotive or in between conferences at work, you’ll need to choose vegetables and fruit that you would be able to maintain in your hand and require minimal peeling. Apples, pears, and bananas are nice decisions. Chopping up carrots (purchase them free and keep away from child carrots that are available in plastic luggage), peppers, broccoli, and cucumbers and carrying them with you in reusable snack bags or jars could be a good way to get an additional serving of greens in your eating regimen and keep away from processed and packaged meals altogether.

Adding a Boost of Nutrition to Meals

Packing your sit-down meal times with produce can be a good way so as to add extra selection to your plate and keep away from processed sides (sure, we’re responsible of supplementing empty plate area with fries too). Fresh produce ought to ideally make up 75 percent of every meal, so getting inventive with how you prepare these foods could make you overlook all about processed sides.

Because recent produce will spoil extra shortly processed meals, plan to verify in on how a lot you’ve used mid-week. If your greens are beginning to look worse for put on, chop them up and retailer them within the freezer to increase their life. Frozen spinach and peppers are nice for making quick stir-fry meals!

3. Anything Packaged Foods Can Do, Bulk Items Can Do Better

Anything packaged meals can do, bulk items can do better. Repeat this mantra in your head when you make your approach by way of the at all times tempting processed junk meals isles and bee-line to the majority bins. There is actually no must ever purchase pre-packaged nuts or dried fruit when there are a plethora of choices accessible (which additionally occur to be WAY cheaper) within the bulk bins. If you’re ready with small reusable luggage or jars, the majority bins make buying waste-free a breeze.

Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are wonderful sources of wholesome, plant-based fat and protein. Nuts are a great source of omega 3s, B nutritional vitamins, iron, magnesium, and different vitamins your physique wants. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or cookie within the afternoon, a handful of nuts combined with sunflower or pumpkin seeds can fulfill your longing for crunch and fats – with out all of the guilt or packaging.

You may simply make your own nut butters and vegan cheeses with the uncooked nuts discovered within the bulk bins. Some shops have grinding machines, so in case you come ready with jars (bear in mind to have them tared at customer support first!), you possibly can skip the packaged nut butters and nonetheless get your repair.


You may refill on beans within the bulk part. Instead of shopping for canned chickpeas, navy beans, or white beans, attempt getting free dried beans. Not solely will you save your self from a BPA-lined can, however you’ll additionally skip the added sodium and preservatives. If you’ve by no means cooked with dried beans earlier than, check out this article for straightforward suggestions.


Have you been overpaying for pre-mixed packs of historic grains or medleys of rice? If you’ve been shopping for them in any respect, then the reply is sure. Skip the packaging and search for bulk bin lengthy grain rice, quinoa, amaranth, farro, and millet. These wholesome carbs will assist maintain you from snacking on issues like packaged crackers or processed noodles and breads. Plus, unprocessed, bulk grains are naturally low-glycemic and packed with nutrients, so you possibly can be ok with getting your carb repair.

A Healthy You and Even Healthier Planet

The advantages of skipping extremely processed, packaged meals are actually infinite. Not solely are you able to ensure that the meals you’re placing in your physique are filled with vitamins and free from hidden sugars, additives, and chemicals, however choosing entire meals additionally saves a major quantity of energy and resources that may usually be expended to make processed meals. And the icing on the cake, entire meals usually come with none packaging, to allow them to save a ton of wrapper waste from ending up in landfills and waterways.

It’s great how making one shift to raised your self or the planet can include so many peripheral advantages. Whether you need to shift away from overpackaged processed foods for the sake of your well being or the planet, both approach you’ll get to each!

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