Buying Bulk Without Plastic

I’m continuing on my mission to eliminate single use plastic in my life.  One area that has stumped me until fairly recently was buying in bulk.

Bulk Spices from Community Natural Foods

A few months ago I discovered that Community Natural Foods allows people to use their own jars for bulk items. You simply bring the empty jar to customer service or any cashier to have it initially weighed (they write the weight on the lid). You can then go ahead and fill it and check out, where it will be weighed again. Since we buy a lot of our organic spices from this health food store, it works really well for us. They also accept cloth bags for bulk and encourage you to bring your own containers to their cafe. Read more in BYOC – Bring Your Own Container.

I recently noticed an ad for Bulk Barn Foods promoting Plastic Free July, offering 20% off all purchases made with reusable containers or cloth bags between July 11 and 24. They even have a Reusable Container Program where you can learn more. Good for them! I don’t typically go to Bulk Barn but I think I will check them out now.

It’s time that all grocery stores make the switch to offer plastic free alternatives. If you agree, mention this to your local store manager. I know I certainly will.

Replacing Plastic Produce Bags

I’m continuing my mission to eliminate single use plastic in my life. This week it’s about no longer using those flimsy plastic produce bags that come in rolls at the grocery story.

I realize I could just place produce in my grocery cart “as is” and not bother with any kind of bag. I already do that for fruits and veggies that have skins I don’t use (bananas, onions, etc.) however I just don’t feel comfortable putting my kale and broccoli in a cart (or on the checkout scanner) that may have recently been in contact with raw meat.

I did some research on this as I wanted to make sure that my replacement wasn’t harmful for the environment. A friend sent me an article on why cotton totes were worse than plastic (thanks Helen). I also read through All About Bags, Types of Reusable Bags which gives advantages and disadvantages of bags based on type of material.

ChicoBag Reusable Mesh Produce Bags

In the end, I decided to go with bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and chose the ChicoBag Reusable Mesh Produce Bags from Well.ca where we already shop.

They work great! And it feels good to do something to reduce the number of bottles that end up in the ocean.

Now, if we could only get grocery stores to stop using plastic wrap as well.

%d bloggers like this: