For so long I was scared about going into a zero waste shop. What if i’m wearing unethical clothes? What if I don’t know what i’m doing? To the point where my first visit was with my mum! After that I was hooked. I loved the whole concept of bringing your own containers to fill up and paying by weight. I was VERY surprised at how cheap it turned out to be too!
For those that haven’t visited one yet the concept is to bring your own containers (you won’t get shamed for binging plastic ones you already had, re-use these as much as possible to avoid sending them to landfill!). You then weigh each container and then fill as little or as much as you like! Each product will have a different price per kg or 100g, so make sure you know what you’re buying.
Whole food staples like rice, oats, pasta and lentils are very cheep, so I tend to go a bit OTT on those because I know i’m going to eat them and they’re just so darn cheap! See if your local has a website with a list of all of their bulk foods available, then make a note of what you would like and label each jar to avoid confusion when you get there!
Don’t purchase a bunch of new glass jars, save ones you already have, ask your friends and families to keep a hold of theirs too and you may find that you don’t even need to buy any!
Other products that are available for re-filling are household essentials like laundry detergent, washing powder, washing up liquid, shampoo, conditioner etc. Just bring your empty bottles to be weighed and get filling!
Not only are they eco friendly, but seeing all of those pantry staples stored in glass containers is so aesthetically pleasing. A much nicer view than your local supermarket! Zero waste stores tent to look for local suppliers. This reduces the carbon footprint of they produce, compared with big named supermarkets who ship from all around the globe.
By buying these food products in bulk from a zero waste store you are buying them in a more natural and whole form, this generally means they haven’t been roasted, salted, or pre-cooked, giving you more nutrients compared with those those that come in a tin can.
Another rewarding factor to choosing to bulk buy is that you’re supporting independent businesses. There aren’t any zero waste chains in the UK, so by choosing to shop there you are supporting local and independent businesses, run by like-minded people who believe in a plastic free world.
Most zero waste shops only offer dry pantry foods and oils/vinegars, so for other produce try to shop locally too. Take your re-usable produce bags and look for stores that have everything out on display and not suffocating in plastic like farmers markets and garden centres.