Tuesday, 13 February 2018

☆ Zero Waste: Grocery Shopping [Part 2/4] ☆

I am so excited about this little segment I have on my blog. This is part two all about zero waste, sustainability, conscious living and how you can be eco-friendly in your every day life! I want to talk about how you can reduce your food and plastic waste at home while also saving money!

Where I live, the market is open every Thursday and Saturday morning so I tend to bring along a canvas/tote bag to put all of my produce in as to avoid the plastic packaging I tend to get when I buy something.  In here I would typically store fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables. This week I needed a few vegetables so I went to the market and here's an overview of what I purchased:

Tomatoes are great to have for pastas, soups and make delicious snacks if you slice them in wedges and add a bit of salt & pepper!

 I'm not really a fan of sweet potatoes, but I decided to purchase one as I love making fries at home and this is a healthier alternative. Additionally, I can also make baked sweet potato with a cooked meal.

I purchased two eggplants and from them I like to make eggplant fries as they are pretty good. If you haven't tried them yet, you're missing out. A bit of olive oil, a bit of cilantro, some pepper and salt, cayenne and you're good to go. You can also use them as healthy mini pizzas by cutting them into little circles, sprinkling them with cheese, adding pepper, mushrooms, tomato or whatever you prefer. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes and these delicious circles of heaven are ready to go!

I'm not big on breakfast, so I get hungry throughout the day. The oranges (and a cucumber pictured below) serve as little snacks as I just cut them up before class, or I'll have the oranges as a healthy "dessert" after dinner. Typically I make a little fruit bowl with oranges, strawberries and green apple slices as a mid-morning snack as it gets my energy levels up and reduces cravings.

I purchased two cucumbers for not only snacking on but also for adding into udon noodle dishes. Cucumber and vinegar with black pepper tastes great - especially if you add a bit of seaweed too. Great for salads, but also delicious when served with ice cold water and mint for a refreshing detox drink.

Zero Waste Fail?
Unfortunately, even when you try to be zero waste, you won't always succeed. The broccoli, pictured above, is obviously wrapped in plastic. Unfortunately the lady at the market but it in a bag before I had the chance to say no! I usually try to recycle plastic packaging but I know many people use it for eco-bricking and that's a great alternative too. 

Hacks For The Conventional Supermarket
When you go grocery shopping at a supermarket, try to bring your own canvas bag! I typically take two when I have no option than to go to the supermarket for food, as I normally just go to the local farmer's market.   It will really reduce plastic consumption. Stick to loose, unpackaged items if they are available (bananas, tomatoes, bell peppers etc) and put them in your own  produce bag to weigh. You'll still get a sticker unfortunately, but you can try to eco-brick it. 

The only items I still purchase from the supermarket are soy milk, canned chickpeas, pasta, pesto and tikka masala sauce in a glass jar and at times, tortillas. I always opt for metal, glass or cardboard packaging if I really need to go to the supermarket. I've still got a long way to go but I'm definitely making a difference and reducing my carbon footprint as I can recycle the glass and the metal cans. Aside from that, my plant-based diet allows me to shop  at the local famer's markets and get loads of great, nutritious produce for almost a quarter of the price I'd pay at the supermarket!

But What About Bulk? 
Look for bulk stores in your area. Often you can buy food and snacks in a reusable container. Where I stay we have a store that sells dried nuts, chocolate, loose-leaf tea (unpackaged tea that you need a strainer for), fruits, coconut oil and a variety of seeds. Bulk stores usually also sell shampoo, conditioner,  various juices and more, so have a look around in your neighborhood and do a bit of research before purchasing from your go-to supermarket.

What did you think of this post? Any zero waste articles you'd like to see next or questions you might have? Let me know in the comments down below.


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