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Reducing waste by reducing packaging

Less Wasteful Grocery Shopping – Save-on foods

Of course we always try to bring our own bags grocery shopping but now I also bring my own deli containers and fruit/veggie bags.

It was surprisingly easy to get the deli woman to just put the deli meat on the plastic sheet and print out the sticker then put it in my container. Much easier to achieve than trying to get away with no plastic and then just ending up with the plastic anyways because you confused someone. I did ask whether she thought they would give me a un-bagged rotisserie chicken in my own dish. She said probably but I might have to ask the manager. I’ll take that as a yes (tee hee).

The bakery was out of white bread encased in plastic so I had to experiment. I learned how to slice my own loaf of bread yesterday! The great thing about slicing your own bread at the grocery store bakery is that you get to choose the thickness. I sliced a loaf of white and a loaf of 75% whole wheat. The bakers wanted to give me some plastic bags for the bread (of course!) and of course I refused.  What I find funny is that the white bread was in a bleached white bag and the brown bread was in a natural brown bag. I’m going to recycle the paper bags and be happy with that. As you can see from the photos the problem of long-term storage was at home.

I smugly looked at the bulk granola and thought about my homemade granola at home. No longer do I need to buy pre-made cereal.

The new potatoes are both local and in a reused veggie bag. The apples are from the states but it’s late in the apple season and BC one’s are getting kinda yucky. I never put my bananas in a plastic bag because they already come in their own packaging. Don’t even get me started on Del Monte coming up with single-serve bananas! A picture speaks a thousand words…

The toilet paper is double roll and I bought the 24 pack vs  the 16 pack for only $1 more. Less plastic and less cardboard rolls! I’m hoping that the tp company that is currently test marketing tubeless tp rolls on the east coast will “roll” it out across North America soon. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2010-10-27-1Atube27_ST_N.htm  Some people buy their tp at Costco and I understand that it can be more cost-effective but my argument is that each roll is individually wrapped in plastic which is just wasteful. The case of Coke is justified because they will be taken with work lunches which will save money that would be used in the vending machines. We recycle our pop cans and the cardboard. We buy Sleepytime tea in the largest box for obvious reasons. I have yet to go find a zero-waste alternative to Sleepytime tea. That’s for another post. Also I plan to dive into why I bought both types of fruit gummies (which are not for me) in a later post. I tried to find them in bulk too but they only have real fruit gummy bears which I believe wouldn’t be an equivalent.

Far from a perfect grocery shop but not that bad. No new plastic bags were used for this visit. The only non-recyclable packaging is the plastic  zipper of the real fruit gummies and the wax paper surrounding the tea. Through analyzing my purchases I hope to gain insight into why our family purchases certain things and what we can change.

Any ideas for improvement?


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.


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