Friday, September 9, 2011

Shopping habits: one way to avoid packaging.

If you've gone to the grocery store in an attempt to find foods with minimal, sustainable or recyclable packaging, you are not alone. Although everything needs to be packaged to some extent, or at least shipped somehow, waste can be cut down on by bringing your own reuasable 'packaging' to the store.

Eliminate plastic and other forms of packaging waste by shopping at stores where you can choose your product, choose whatever quantity you like and pay by its weight.

These stores usually offer you plastic or paper bags to bring your stuff home in but they actually have a good thing going. You can bring your own bags (I've been reusing some small plastic/paper bags I already have) for now until I get some cloth ones. Some people have or make their own bags for these purposes... some examples of which you can find if you search "food storage" on sites like which I did for you right here. Although I'm a bit clueless with the sewing machine, you could also try to make your own bags!

If you're really in a bind, try bringing your own containers and asking them to weigh them (or weigh them at home if you can) before you fill them. To be honest, I've had some weird looks regarding this (perfectly acceptable) request after which the cashier insisted I should use a bag (and then transfer my purchases into the container). Needless to say, I'd rather shop at the place which gives me a discount for bringing my own bags (like Runsaudensarvi on Kauppakatu 4 in Tampere) but now I know to bring bags instead of containers to that specific store.

So keep an eye out for these stores. I know about Bulk Barn in Canada and Punnitsee ja Säästä (weigh and save) in Finland but those are just the chain... there are some great independently owned ones out there too (and those are usually owned by people who are more interested in their customers values!

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