10 Essentials for a Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Kit to Save Environment

The world has a garbage problem. Unfortunately, it grows bigger each day as people use more and more items each day. Adding to that is an ever-expanding global population. The dual issue of an exploding population using and discarding more materials puts a heavy strain on the natural environment, the global economy, public health, and society as a whole. To meet the needs of this population, we extract an excessive amount of natural resources from our planet.

Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Kit

We need to understand that the Earth can only take so much. Without restraint, we’ll be looking at extinct ecosystems, uninhabitable lands, catastrophic climate change, famine, and other apocalyptic scenarios coming true.

These doomsday scenarios may be scary, but they can definitely be slowed down or, in some cases, even averted. The most practical way to do that is to lessen two things---the amount of garbage that we dump in the environment and the number of raw materials we harvest from the planet to create new items.

10 Essentials for a Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Kit to Save Environment

1. Instilling a zero-waste habit

The good thing is that we can hit these two birds with one stone by using a zero-waste strategy in everything we do, including shopping for groceries and the items we need. This was the method our ancestors used, and there’s no reason why we couldn’t do it now. Let’s check out some ways to eliminate waste from your shopping trips:

2. Get into the habit of recycling

According to current recycling statistics, 5 trillion plastic bags are produced yearly. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of fish you can find in a healthy tropical reef! Here’s the thing: the plastic material that makes up a plastic bag is actually sturdy. Thus, they can be reused a couple of times before they can finally be disposed of.

Recycling them into trash bin liners, barf bags, dry pouches, wet bags, and more is a great way of giving those paper bags another use. Definitely, you should have several during your grocery run so you don’t have to buy or use a brand new bag.

3. Use glass mason jars

Many foodstuffs such as beans, grains, nuts, and coffee beans are sold in bulk bins. Bring a mason jar with a cover, and fill it up. The cashier will then ring the price for you. In that way, you totally eliminate the use of new containers just to store the stuff you buy.

But mason jars aren’t just solid foodstuffs. These jars can be refilled with other stuff such as honey, jams, and peanut butters.

4. Use glass bottles for liquid stuff

Many stores now have refilling stations for liquid items such as shampoo, detergent, all-purpose cleaners, liquid soap, and more. All you need to do is to bring your own bottles. Refill the bottle and ring them up at the cashier.

5. Use ice cream tubs for meats

When buying pork, beef, chicken, fish, and other meats use large ice cream tubs to store your purchases. Ice cream tubs are sturdy, leak-proof, and resealable. Any blood, juice, or smelly water from the meat will remain at the bottom of the tub. You don’t need to worry about perforations; the tubs can resist all kinds of abuse short of forcefully throwing them into the ground.

To avoid contamination, however, use one tub per kind of meat. Don’t mix different meats in one tub. In addition, make sure you seal the tub properly to avoid the liquid from spilling out.

6. Use cloth tote bags for fruits and vegetables

Tote bags make perfect carriers for fruits, vegetables, and root crops. The heavy cloth protects them from bruising, and you can easily carry them by slinging the handle around your shoulder. With a tote bag, you don’t have to use a separate container for your fruits and veggies.

7. Bring your own coffee cup or thermos

If you love takeout coffees or teas, bring your own coffee cups or thermos. Ask the barista to use it rather than the usual paper or Styrofoam cups. And don’t you just love it that you’re drinking in a vessel that is uniquely yours?

There are unlimited styles of cups and thermos available. Some have re-heaters, stirring mechanisms, sealable covers, anti-spill design, and many more. There are even businesses that can customize cups, mugs, and thermoses for you.

8. Bring your own mess kits or lunch boxes

If you have time, prepare your own fresh, home-cooked, and healthy meals at home. Then pack them in your own mess kit or lunch box. Like cups and thermoses, there are limitless variations of mess kits out there. Popular ones include Japanese-style bento boxes with lots of compartments for different viands, some separate containers for soups and beverages, and reusable chopsticks.

Mess kits from the military are awesome and designed to withstand a lot of abuse. Mountaineers and hikers use lightweight mess kits made of advanced materials. These mess kits can even double as cooking vessels as they can be heated over a portable stove.

If you’re purchasing take-out meals, you can ask the cashier to put your order inside your mess kit or lunch box. In that way, you don’t need to use wrappers and Styrofoam packs.

9. Bring reusable utensils

Finally, it’s also best to bring your own utensils so you won’t have to throw away plastic spoons, forks, knives, and sporks. If you’re using chopsticks, use reusable plastic or metal ones to reduce the harvesting of bamboo, the primary raw material in making wooden chopsticks.

You really don’t need straws for your beverages. But if you need one, use reusable stainless steel or aluminum straws.

10. Purchase in bulk

When buying items, it’s recommended that you buy in bulk. In that way, you reduce the number of containers, tetra packs, sachets, and other packages that you need to throw after using the contents of the items.

Conclusion:

As you can see, it’s actually easy to reduce or even eliminate waste. By simply recycling containers or using recyclable ones, you can make your activities sustainable and waste-free. It only takes a simple and easy change of mindset.

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TechGlobeX: 10 Essentials for a Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Kit to Save Environment
10 Essentials for a Zero Waste Grocery Shopping Kit to Save Environment
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