Hello there friends! Happy Friday to you. 🙂 I wanted to give you a little update as far as how things have been progressing with regards to my March goals of cutting back on waste related to food. I’d have to say they are going quite well!! Over the last two weeks I have been doing my research and have taken several steps along the way to eliminate packaging at point of purchase. It’s actually been quite a fun ride making these changes. Let’s take a look together at things to date!
Two weeks ago we took a trip as a family to a local farmer’s market!
If you’re following me on Instagram you probably already caught my update but if not, it was a successful start! I took my reusable bags and piled the veggies in, declining any plastic bags that were offered. While there was some packaging with regards to the honey, goat cheese, and eggs, the honey container can be recycled later and the egg carton can likely be returned to the merchant to be used again.
The mushrooms also came in a paper bag which led to me making these cloth bulk/produce bags from old pillow cases!
After the farmer’s market the hubs and I ran out to pick up a few remaining items at Whole Foods. I brought a couple of jars in preparation of several items on our list. Our first stop after getting glass containers weighed was at the gelato stand (total guilty impulse) but unfortunately the opening of my jars were all too small so it ended up coming home in a paper container. After grabbing a few items from the produce department, I stopped by the bulk section to get some much needed olive oil. I had an extra jar on hand so the hubs decided to grab some apple cider vinegar. Then it was off to our last stop…
I don’t usually eat meat but when I do its grass fed strip…and I ask the butcher to put it in a jar.
Yep you read that right, a jar. I had read on Zero Waste Home that she uses jars for her meats so not having any other idea in mind I decided to give it a shot since we planned to have steak that evening. At first the butcher looked a little bewildered by my request but he eventually conceded. So in they went. They were a little hard to get out of the jar so hubs and I agreed that it would probably be easier to request that meats be placed into a glass storage container.
The following week I sewed a couple of produce bags and took them out for a spin during my next shopping trip. I just took them to the front to be weighed along with my jars so the weight could be deducted during checkout. You can probably tell I also grabbed some grass fed ground beef (I seriously don’t usually eat this much meat, but needed something quick and easy since it was late in the day so spaghetti with meat sauce was where that went). Again, would have been better in some other type of glass storage container because getting it out of the jar proved to be a little more difficult. During this same visit I decided to try out milk that was produced regionally in a returnable glass jar. If you’ve never bought milk this way before, a $2 deposit is taken at the time of purchase which then is returned when the bottle is turned back in to the store.
I haven’t had the chance to try it as I still had plenty of skim milk left in the fridge at home but I had zero complaints from the wee one. The process was not only easy peasy, but its one less plastic container that had to be produced and recycled.
Just this past week, I stopped into a local bakery for some fresh bread that was baked that morning. I had zero resistance from the chickadee behind the counter when I asked if I could have it put into my own bag (aka pillowcase) to bring home. Since apparently the plastic bag helps to keep bread from going stale so quickly, I froze half of the loaf after about two days to keep it from going to waste. Stay tuned for updates as to how well that turned out.
As I’ve been using up my dried goods at home I was able to replace them with items from the bulk section, such as kidney beans and baking soda. I was also able to get a snack from bulk!
I spent time over the last week two weeks visiting various grocery stores so that I would know what bulk options were available to me in my area. Of course there is Whole Foods which has basic dry bulk as well as olive oil, honey and apple cider vinegar. Using this bulk finder I found a local store, Good Foods Grocery, that has a wide selection of dried goods and spices, including coffee and tea.
Since this store was a little bit more of a trek for me, I headed to check out another local grocery favorite, Ellwood Thompson’s, that I hadn’t been to in a while. Their bulk selection made my heart skip a beat! Not only do that have a full array of dried goods from grain, beans, pastas to flours, sugars, and spices, but they also have a wide variety of coffee, tea leaves, and various bulk liquids! There are even local eggs in open crates so I could bring my own egg container to use over and over again. Seeing as this store is the exact distance from my house as Whole Foods, has a lot to offer and is local, I will be spending most of my time shopping here. 🙂
There is one other store that I found on the bulk finder list that I need to still check out. I don’t remember them having a lot of bulk, but then again the last time I was there it wasn’t as much on my radar so I’m going to go by there at some point to see what’s available.
Hope you have a great rest of your week! Its going to be warm and sunny here in RVA so we’ll be spending a lot of time playing outdoors. 🙂
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