Zero Waste Food Shopping and Storage

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker

With a bit of preparation, it’s easy to zero-waste grocery shop.

We take for granted the plastic that encases many foods, the bags we use to transport our goods home, and the plastic bags and wrap we use to keep our food from spoiling. In reality, we’ve become dependent on a material we not only don’t need but which is also harmful to the environment. Plastic never decomposes and instead breaks down into tiny micro-plastics that pollute the environment and food packaging is one of the main culprits of singe-use plastic.

Many grocery stores sell produce with minimal packaging or have bulk shopping options and farmers markets are also a great place to buy package-free food. By investing in a few items, you can reduce your plastic waste substantially!

Bring your own reusable cloth shopping bags

Keep a few reusable cloth bags in your car to use whenever you go shopping. Cloth bags can be purchased at most groceries or online at Package Free Shop. Alternatively, if you’re feeling crafty you could create your own bags by cutting off the sleeves of old tee-shirts and sewing the bottom hem.

Bring your own produce bags

Similarly, it’s easy to have a few mesh produce bags on hand for whenever you need to go shopping. They can be purchased from Package Free Shop. Alternatively, you can take some sturdy plastic bags from your local grocery and re-use them (but make sure not to keep grabbing them every time you’re there).

Use reusable beeswax food wrap

Keep a few reusable beeswax food wraps at your house for leftovers or items that dry out and spoil like cheese. As you wrap your food, the wax warms from the heat of your hands and sticks to create a seal. They can be rinsed and reused. Buy beeswax wraps from Package Free Shop or Amazon.

I’m very lucky to live in an affluent neighbor hood with multiple groceries selling the majority of their produce with minimal to no packaging. Sadly, some neighborhoods, cities, and countries don’t have the same options. Still, there are some strategies you can implement to reduce your waste, such as bringing your own reusable cloth shopping bags or buying produce at local farmers markets.

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker