12 Steps to Waste Reduction – # 1
1. Buy in the bulk department. Don’t buy mini-packages or items that are individually wrapped.
Plastic pollution is threatening our environment and killing our oceans. Plastic is everywhere and seems to be in everything including not only food products (like inside the lining of aluminum cans) but a slew of commonly used household products. All plastic is non-biodegradable and only some can be recycled (#1 and #2 in most cities). The energy, toxins, and fossil fuels used to create the plastics in the first place are also polluting the planet. So how can we cut down on plastic waste and stop contributing to the death of our planet? We will start with #1 on the 12 Steps to Waste Reduction in Your Diet list.
#1 on the list is pretty self-explanatory. Companies everywhere seem to be individually wrapping everything these days. It’s all about convenience and our new “grab and go” consciousness. It’s convenience (i.e. laziness) that is polluting the planet.
Bulk bins are usually found at your local natural food store. Buying in the bulk bins cuts down on plastic pollution. Don’t forget to bring your own bags to refill or you can even bring other containers to put your bulk items in (just get them weighed before you fill them up). If you local grocer doesn’t have bulk bins then write them a letter telling them of the benefits of having a bulk department. Ask them if you can buy your most used items like brown rice and beans in large quantities (usually 25 pound bags) and sometimes they’ll even give you a 10% discount!
If you local grocer doesn’t have bulk bins the least you can do is please buy the largest size of your favorite most used and eaten items (not those individually packaged snacks). When you are making your or your child’s lunch you can put what you need in a baggy (that you reuse each time or in a bag that used to hold something else like the bread bag) or better yet you can start using these small brown paper bags that are perfect for snacks, sandwiches, and other foods.
These principles do not apply to just edibles. The same goes for your dish and laundry soap, sponges, pens, you name it! Stores like Costco and Sam’s can be good for buying in bulk and creating less waste in the long run.