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Reducing waste by reducing packaging, zero waste, Zero Waste Food?

Less Wasteful Grocery Shopping – Cooper’s

One of the major sources of garbage, compost and recycling comes from what you bring home from the grocery store. Everything seems to come in packaging within packaging. I will be attempting to reduce the amount of waste I accept when grocery shopping. Bringing your own grocery bags is the first step to reducing waste. The next easy step is bringing your own produce bags for things like apples, granola, buns and bits n bites (see picture). I have found it a bit more complicated when ordering deli items from a clerk. It took me two grocery store visits at different stores to find a clerk that understood about tare and was willing to help me out. unfortunately the day I chose to get my first reduced-waste turkey slices she was not there. Fortunately one of the women working did know what I was talking about and agreed to the project.  She weighed my Rubbermaid container first and then added my first request, Thai Noodle Salad. Then she weighed it again and minused out the weight of the container to get the actual cost. She asked for my lid so that it could be put on and labeled. The same process was used for the turkey but she did put it on a thin piece of plastic first. I will have to figure that part out. She actually was a good sport about it. I used another container for a Danish and filled up a veggie sack with Portuguese buns. When I was in line I got a few funny looks and a comment or two. The other customers had never seen anyone with their own containers before and thought it was very prepared of me! This trip was successful because I can see that it is possible to reduce your waste significantly with a bit of forethought. I ended up with 2 stickers, 1 piece of plastic from the turkey and the receipt that automatically prints out when you pay. Accepting it seems like the only option because then I can recycle it versus them throwing it away.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We cannot just rely on recycling to reduce waste. We need to start some change.


About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


2 thoughts on “Less Wasteful Grocery Shopping – Cooper’s

  1. Hi Stephanie! I love your blog and your great ideas for reducing waste. I always bring reusable bags with me to the grocery store, along with reusable bags for fruits and veggies, but I’d never thought about bringing Rubbermaid containers. I’m an intern with a new Web start-up called earthbongo.com, where people can create and share projects to make the world better…we’re concerned about the impact of packaging on the environment, too. I hope you’ll check out our blog post about the packaging nightmare one of our staff members had buying cushions online! http://blog.earthbongo.com/.

    Posted by Valerie Saturen | July 26, 2011, 1:44 pm
    • Hi Valerie – the cushion post was very interesting. I really like hearing that other people are concerned about packaging. Sometimes it feels like everyone is turning a blind eye and just accepting waste as inevitable.


      Posted by stephanieough | August 3, 2011, 1:59 pm

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