What can you buy zero-waste in supermarkets?

What can you buy zero-waste in supermarkets_ (1)

What can you buy zero-waste in supermarkets?

For anyone that doesn’t know I’m a big fan of the zero-waste lifestyle. I write about it and talk about it on the radio and everything.

It’s good for the environment, good for you and it’s fun! What’s not to love?

But how to get started? I suggest starting and your local supermarket.

Here’s a question for you, the next time you go to a branded supermarket, how many fruit and vegetables can you find that are unpackaged? Not many.

I recently popped into my local Tesco and only managed to get:

  • Onions
  • Big potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Lemon
  • Spring Onions
  • Apples
  • Clementines

And that was it. Okay, you could also get parsnips, bananas and aubergines, but I don’t eat any of those so that was wasted on me.

But what I couldn’t get included:

  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • New potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflowers
  • Red onions
  • Sweetcorn
  • Asparagus
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • The list just grows as well.

Basically, when it came to making salads I was screwed. I’m going to be sticking with soups and stews this week it seems.

Why are so many fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic though? What’s wrong with getting a bunch of celery not in a plastic bag? Or corn still in its natural wrapping rather than in a pair on a plastic tray and shrink wrap?

There’s more harm from these plastics then there is from the air as well. Not only as waste but just by touching our food we’re eating some of the chemicals on the packaging that we really don’t need too.

Who does the plastic benefit? No one.

You can buy other zero-waste products in the supermarket beside fruit and vegetables though. It is possible to buy jars of food which you can reuse for other items of food or recycle – glass is recyclable – as well as tins of food.

But I’m trying to live by the motto of the Five R’s of zero-waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot.

You can refuse the plastic wrap – hence why I’ve stopped buying plastic wrapped foods – you can reduce the number of jars and tins you buy in order to find more practical ways of using your food. You can reuse the jars and other containers for other produce. Recycle any items that have outlived themselves and you can rot any remaining food you may have in compost bins.

A little goes a long way in a zero-waste lifestyle. So try it out next time you go to the supermarket and see what you can buy zero-waste. Any maybe make a suggestion to your local supermarket to perhaps try a ‘naked food’ section or even some bulk buy stations? A little goes a long way.

Love Ellie x

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