Zero waste is a goal that many in today’s society are seeking. As more people buy more dispensable goods, our landfills continue to approach their full capacities. It’s a shame to see so much senseless waste.
In this guide, you’ll learn some tactics that will help you reduce and avoid waste as you shop for items that you need.
What Is Zero Waste?
Zero waste is more than just a category, it’s a lifestyle. It’s when a consumer sets out to reduce their amount of waste to zero.
What is waste? Waste is something that gets discarded without proper use. It’s the kind of trash that winds up in a landfill.
An example of waste is any disposable product that you can imagine. Rather than wasting a product after one use, zero waste consumers will repurpose it, reuse it, or replace it altogether.
In many cases, recycled products still end up in a landfill, so recycling isn’t the perfect solution here.
How Do You Shop Zero Waste?
The major way to shop using zero waste is to change how you shop.
Think about how much trash there is in a single shopping trip — it often starts off with a paper list and ends up with plastic bags that you throw away.
All the while, you’re wasting products left and right. This is really upsetting for people who want to leave a small footprint on Earth while they’re alive.
Luckily, there are some great ideas that help eco-friendly customers shop using zero waste!
Ideas for Zero Waste Shopping
The following ideas are a good starting point. These zero waste tips will minimize your footprint and help you achieve zero waste shopping. The ideas are simple enough, and anyone can try them.
Bring Your Own Containers
A lot of companies make really attractive shopping containers that you can keep reusing. If you know you’re going shopping, bring your reusable bags.
These bags are used to carry the products home so that you don’t need to use plastic or paper bags at the cash register. It makes checkout easier and it helps the environment.
The containers are inexpensive and they come in different sizes. Truthfully, you can use any containers you have laying around the house — there are no special rules.
Buy in Bulk
When you buy products in bulk, there is often less packaging and waste. This is true even at your local supermarket. They’ll offer some of your favorite products in bulk, including name-brand items that you love.
Always look for the bulk section when you first enter the store. You’ll also receive a better price-per-unit when you shop in bulk, so it’s a win-win!
Make It Yourself
You won’t have to worry about learning how to zero waste shop if you make your products yourself. If you take a closer look at the products you buy, you might find that you can create these items on your own.
For example, you won’t need to buy a salad dressing that has a lot of waste in the container if you make the dressing yourself.
Ditch the Paper Shopping List
This is a simple tip that anyone can use: stop making your shopping list on a piece of paper. It’s a waste of product because you wind up throwing out the list when you’re done.
Use a notebook app on your phone to make your shopping list. With most notebook apps, once you add an item to your grocery cart, a simple swipe of your finger will check off the item and remove it from your list.
Don’t Buy Products That Are Wasteful
You might be surprised by how many zero waste products are available on the shelf. If you see a product that has a ton of plastic, paper, and metal in its packaging, avoid buying it.
Look for products that use minimal waste.
Certain brands like to focus on their waste, and their line of products will be as close to zero waste as possible.
Shop at a Local Market
Local markets are excellent shopping choices if you want to reduce your consumer waste. Not only is their produce much fresher, but it’s typically grown using ethical, local, and low-carbon methods.
A local market is made up of local farmers who are selling their goods. When you shop often enough, you’ll get to know the local traders. They might offer you better deals or set aside their higher quality produce for you to enjoy.
You can take your own bags to these markets.
Even better, local farmers are often waste-conscious. This means that you’re supporting people who are also treating the Earth with respect and doing their part to minimize their footprint.
Shop at a Bulk Supermarket
New specialty supermarkets are popping up around the world. They specialize in selling bulk products, and they are often looking to minimize their and your waste.
Not only do they offer zero waste products, but their entire store revolves around low waste. If you have the option to shop at a bulk supermarket, it’s one of the best ways to shop zero waste.
The setup at these stores is a bit different from what you might be used to. You’ll be filling up a container with products and then paying per weight. This means that you’ll need to weigh your empty container before you start filling it up.
Reuse Anything That You Can
Sometimes you simply can’t avoid buying a product with waste attached to it. However, just because it looks like waste doesn’t mean that you have to throw it away — you can reuse it.
This is where your creativity and imagination can run wild. If you buy jam that comes in a jar, that jar can later be repurposed. You can plant flowers, hold pens, or even create a light by repurposing the jar.
By changing how you view the products around you, you can transform how much “waste” you’re really buying and generating. Throwing something in the trash should be reserved for items that can’t possibly be reused.
Learning how to shop zero waste is one way to clear your conscience while you help the environment.
These tips and tricks should help you minimize your waste while you’re shopping. You don’t have to sacrifice the things you love in order to love the earth.