In this article, I will give you 10 realistic, food-related on how to start including zero-waste ideas in your life.
WHAT IS ZERO-WASTE?
Zero-waste is a worldwide movement of people who are committed to generating as little waste as possible. Alex and I started our low-waste journey two years ago. We have made some significant changes when it comes to the way we shop. I learned that it is easier to start small. Instead of drastically changing the way you live, sit down, and think about which areas you are comfortable tackling first.
Firstly, my main goal is to avoid food products packaged in plastic. The quality of locally produced and grown food is high in Switzerland. For this reason, we buy organic food only occasionally. I think it makes sense to focus on fruits and vegetables which need a lot of pesticides and herbicides to grow. This is a helpful link where you can see which are the worst.
I want to be clear – organic/ bio food is expensive. It is a privilege to be able to buy it and should not be seen as a norm. I find that it is elitist to say that we should all eat only organic food because the regular one is full of chemicals. If you can afford it, good for you. But keep in mind that there are families that live from a paycheck to paycheck and they will be happy to give their children one fruit a day. So do what works for you but don’t forget to step in other people’s shoes before you start educating others.
ACTIONABLE STEPS TO START
- Find and visit a bulk store in your area to get an idea of what food they carry.
- Find and visit a farm that sells seasonal and local produce.
- Visit your local bakery, butchers, milk/cheese producer, etc. so that you can see what you can get there.
- Make a price comparison between supermarkets, bulk stores, farmer’s markets, and local farms – this may take time but it is totally worth it. For example, you don’t have to buy organic oats in a bulk store if you can find them wrapped in paper in the supermarket. Our local COOP sells seasonal fruits and vegetables in bulk and they are more affordable than at the farm.
- Check your local food delivery services. Some of our friends use farmy.ch, but there are other services that you can easily google.
- Get at least 10 reusable fabric bags of different sizes that you can use for fruits, vegetables, bread, buns, pulses, oats, raisins, nuts, etc.
- You can use glass jars for storing as well as buying flour, sugar, etc. at a bulk store.
- Get fabric grocery bags that you can wear with you all the time. I find it very helpful when I decide to do some spontaneous shopping. It helps me avoid buying new paper or plastic bags.
Now, when you know how to start including zero-waste ideas in your life, what will be your first step? Let me know in the comments below.