5 tips for greener groceries

(zero waste, keepjar)

writer:Emma Ranne
photography:
Ona Rihu + Catarina böckerman

Zero waste grocery shopping is quite a challenge, but you can make it a fun one! I've tried to turn shopping for food into a game where I try to end up with as little plastic in my grocery bag as possible. Not always easy, but most certainly worth the effort. Plastic waste is a massive international problem, and every time you are able to avoid plastic it will help to make a difference. Yes, it might be a very small difference, but a lot of small efforts make a bigger impact, so you definitely shouldn't underestimate your power here.

Here are some of easy tips for how you can cut down on the amount of plastic when it comes to doing your groceries.
 

step 1. Green your grocery list

Every purchase you make has an impact on the environment. Try to choose for the planet friendlier options. Be conscious of the origins of the foods and when possible buy local produce. Minimize the amount of animal products on your shopping list and buy only what you need.
 

step 2. Avoid plastic packaging

Here in Finland fruit and veg are annoyingly often wrapped in plastic. Try to opt for the unwrapped alternatives. You could also ask your local grocer to add unwrapped vegetables and fruits to their selection if they're missing your favorites. Remember your power as the consumer. 
 

 

step 3. Bring your own bags

Bring a big tote bag along when doing your groceries, and smaller net or cloth bags that you can use instead of the plastic bags they have at the shop. If you forget to bring your own bags, always opt for the paper bag instead of the plastic ones.

Our reusable bags are from Keepjar and we absolutely love the practicality (and the look) of them! Keepjar is a lovely brand from Sweden, that strives to make zero waste living easier for us. The bags are made from 100% eco certified cotton at a GOTS certified manufacturer in India which is visited regularly.
 

step 4. Buy only what you need and plan ahead

Be conscious of the amounts you buy and avoid having to throw away food that has gone off. If you still end up with lots of left overs, try to freeze the food so it keeps longer. Or ask your friends over for dinner. That's always a good idea. 

 

step 5. Hit the farmer’s markets and bulk shops

If you live near a farmer’s market or bulk shop try to stop by a little more often. This is a great way to avoid the plastic packaging. Of course practicality and transportation are important factors as well, but if it is convenient for you: do it! As a bonus, it'll make a lovely weekend outing.

 


p.s. The 5 R’s of minimizing waste:

Refuse: don’t buy what you don’t need
Reduce: what you do need
Reuse: what you already have
Recycle: what you can’t reuse
Rot: only what you can't refuse, reduce, reuse or recycle.