Zero-waste when shopping and eating out

by Vera Markova
 Zero-waste when shopping and eating out

Let’s face it, we all need to shop and eat out once in a while and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we do it consciously. Unfortunately, plastic is all over the place when it comes to fruit & veggies markets, food stalls, Christmas markets and so on.

We’ve been trying to reduce the use of plastic to minimum while still enjoying our regular visits to the local markets and here are a few tips we’d like to share with you:

  1. Carry your own cloth bag, if you’re planning to buy a lot of things, just get your backpack- it’s convenient and fits a lot of things, it will save you the hassle of carrying multiple bags and the environment the consumption of plastic!
  2. Take your own cup, cutlery, straws and containers and enjoy a glass of fresh juice or an ice-cream with the pleasure of saving the environment the consumption of plastic.
  3. If you are planning to purchase a fruit/veggie that’s usually sold in a plastic container such as strawberries, don’t panic, you don’t have to give that up in the name of zero waste, just get your own jar/container and ask the vendor whether he/she’ll reuse the original container if you put the strawberries in your own jar/container.
  4. When it comes to purchasing eggs, there are a few things that you can do, if they’re already packed, you can still ask the vendor if he/she’d reuse the original container if you put them in your own or you can try to establish a personal relationship with the vendor and if he/she gets the eggs from a farm personally, give him/her your own container and ask him/her to place the number of eggs you’d like to purchase there when he/she goes to the farm for new stock.
  5. If you see a single banana, take it. Set a positive example against food waste.
  6. If you’re purchasing something in a glass bottle/jar, make sure you bring back the bottle/jar after consumption if there is a reusing/recycling program in place. If not, keep the item at home and make use of it.
  7. Consider purchasing soap bars from local producers if they’re sold unpacked rather than liquid soap in plastic bottles.
  8. Speak to the person selling tea, herbs, dried fruits and nuts. If these items are his local produce, try negotiating with him/her to sell you a large quantity in bulk before they get packaged.

That’s all for now, short and sweet, but coming from the bottom of our hearts. What are your little tips for zero-waste shopping and eating out?