Zero Waste Grocery Shopping

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One of my favorite switches I made when going Zero Waste was using cotton/mesh bags instead of plastic bags. The first time I did this I was a little nervous, I had never seen anyone else do it before and I didn’t know what to expect. But to my surprise the cashiers at my regular grocery store loved it! I made my own bags (you can get some here). Everyone responded saying it was so cool that I cared enough to do that and that all of my bags were super cute! I felt really good after! It was so nice to get some encouraging feedback. When I got home and put all of my groceries away I felt different. It took me a minute to realize what this feeling was, but it was a feeling of relief. When I was done I just put my bags back in the drawer. I didn’t have to collect 15+ produce bags and another 5-10 plastic sacks to throw in the garbage or recycling. There was no mess. It felt like I just treated my food with respect for the first time. I honestly think plastic has it’s place, but around my food is not one of them. However, I still do buy a few things in plastic (remember, I’m not perfect!) but I’ll save that for another post.

So this is what a small portion of my shopping cart looked like today. If you don’t have reusable bags, can’t afford them, or just don’t want to use them – a great alternative is no bag at all. You are going to wash all of your produce when you get home anyway, so just throw it in the cart or basket. I do this when I forget my bags, and sometimes even if I have them. You can see in the pic below that I didn’t bag my onions, garlic, avocados, green onions, cabbage or watermelon. I usually only bag things like potatoes, apples, kale, spinach, and things I have multiples of. I still don’t understand why people would put bananas or a pineapple in a plastic bag, but I see it all the time. Just throw it in the cart!

zero-waste-groceries-1I try my very best when I am shopping but I occasionally do get things like twist ties and rubber bands on my produce. I simply just reuse them when I need these things. I the rubber bands that come on my green onions to go around the top of my kombucha jars to hold the cloth on. I just do my best and try to reuse the trash I do happen to gather. That’s really all you can do.

The last thing I do when I shop is bring my reusable tote bags! I keep a stash of them in my car, but when I forget I usually just have them throw it all back in the cart unbagged. This isn’t always convenient for me because I often have a 4 year old in tow, but in the case I need bags, I ask for paper. Paper bags can be reused over and over too! I reuse them as much as I can for things like grocery bags (ha ha!), donating to thrift stores, giving things away, and lately I’ve been shredding them after they are worn out to use as cushion for my online shops if needed.

Do you have any problems shopping plastic free? Are you afraid to? I know I was at first… I’d love to hear from everyone about this!

Hello!

 

Hello! This is my first post! I’m so excited to finally start a website to go with my Instagram page. I have been so inspired and have been having so much fun running TheZeroWasteGirl Instagram page, I’m really excited to take it to the next level.

It’s hard to know where to start, I have so many topics to write about… so I’m just going to start with a quick overview of my journey and where I am currently.

A couple of years ago I quit my job of 8 years to be a stay at home mom. This was a very foreign thing to me as I never really thought I’d be a mother, and I had never gone without a job since I was of age to have one. For the first while it was incredibly hard. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’m not gonna lie, I cried everyday for the first couple of weeks. My daughter Lemon was barely 2 at the time, and starting to get very active. I’m a major introvert, and if it were up to me I’d probably stay at home binging on Netflix all day. I had to find something to do to keep both of us happy, because watching Gossip Girl and food docs all day wasn’t going to cut it. So we started going on LONG walks, pretty much all day. She loved it, and I still got to have a little peace and quiet while still getting some exercise in and not feeling like a terrible mother. As we walked I started to notice all the trash on the ground. Our walks were beautiful if you looked straight ahead, (yay Utah!)  but very ugly if you looked down. So I eventually started bringing a bag out with me… then several bags. I walked the same route every singe day, and somehow filled up multiple bags every day. I took them home and separated them into landfill, recycle, glass recycle. How was this happening? It was very frustrating that I was trying so hard, yet nothing was really changing.

One night after I put Lemon to bed I was spending a little time to myself. My husband Tim works crazy hours doing production management and sound engineering for various venues and touring bands, so I’m often alone. Which I don’t mind! (IN(F/T)J here!) So I was sitting on the couch in the living room just wasting time on my phone. I decided to clear out any emails, photos, and notes that I could to keep things more organized, when I came across a note that I had put in my phone a year earlier, it said “Taylor says look at – trashisfortossers.com.” My little brother had told me something about a girl and a jar a year earlier that sounded cool at the time, but I didn’t look into it until that moment! I opened my computer and pretty much went insane all over Lauren’s site. I started an Instagram that night called @worldtrashcollective where I planned to document all my trash. I did this for sometime… maybe some of you remember me as that!? I posted some pretty cool (sad) looking pictures of trash everyday for a few months. I eventually decided to take it to the next level and cut as much trash as I could from my life. I even had a trash jar for awhile! Since I decided to expand my topics a bit I changed my name too.

So for the last year or so I have been doing my best to be “zero waste.” Does that mean I have zero impact? Absolutely not. That’s impossible. But you can bet that I absolutely do my best to be as close to zero as I can. What I can is not what you can. What you can is not what your neighbor can. Make sense? We are all different. I do my best, and I hope I can encourage you to do your best, whatever your best may be.

My goal is to share with you guys the things I have learned, my daily tips and tricks, my ups and downs, the reality of the trash problem, etc. Maybe we can help each other and help the planet a little bit too.

Until next time.

xoxo Kaycee