In a zero-waste lifestyle, shopping in bulk is the first mode to fight against over-packaged supermarket products. You can buy essential everyday products, without packaging and paid by weight. This gives consumers full control over their purchases, by taking only the quantity needed.
Let’s talk about habits! What an effort to change them and shake up your routine. But did you know it only takes 21 days for our brain to integrate a new habit? During this time, it creates new neurological connections and weaves new nerve networks. Once this period has passed, the new habit no longer requires any conscious effort on our part!
Since the appearance of supermarkets in the 1930s, this way of consuming has never really been questioned. However, supermarkets today are responsible for a gigantic food and packaging waste.
Switching to bulk means shaking up your habits of going to the same place to do all your shopping, and opting for a more environmentally friendly way of life.
In bulk or zero waste grocery stores, you can find pasta, rice, legumes, crackers, dried fruit, confectionery, spices, tea, coffee, pet food… In short, all the essential everyday products that can be bought dry!
Everything is presented in complete transparency and free of unnecessary packaging. You help yourself with cloth bags, jars, airtight cans, etc. that you bring with you or that are sometimes available in stores.
It’s cheaper: you only buy the product, not its packaging or marketing.
It’s more environmentally friendly: it drastically reduces the amount of unnecessary packaging and food waste. And you won’t have to take down the trash as often!
It’s easy: once you’re equipped, it’s just a matter of integrating new habits and adopting a new organization.
And it’s fun! Shopping almost becomes a pleasure, and you become more aware of what you buy.
Many bulk grocery stores have recently opened their doors, providing dry products without packaging. But for fresh food, how can it work? Can we really put supermarkets aside?
The easiest way is to go shopping for fresh products at farmers’ markets, directly with a local producer, or at a “pick your own” farm. More and more merchants accept that you bring your own containers for cheese or butter for example.
Another option may be to join a weekly fruit & vegetables basket. You’ll receive fresh, seasonal and sometimes organic fruits and vegetables, usually coming from a local farm (or as local as possible).
Faced with this ecological transition, many conventional supermarkets have opted for a few bulk departments in their stores. And for fruit and vegetables, it is already possible to bring your own reusable bags to the self-service department.
Quick reminder: bananas, melons, broccoli can survive outside a bag! And really, the same is true for apples, oranges, lemons… Wouldn’t we make a little effort of comfort to avoid unnecessary waste and preserve our environment?
If you’re ready to switch to a zero waste lifestyle, you might want to have a look at our reusable period underwear. They’re washable and will prevent from throwing away a huge amount of sanitary products.
If you have 15 minutes to kill, here’s a little video about over-packaged products: Are these the most over-packaged products? By CBC News