Every year, individuals in the United States generate a total of 169 million tons of landfill waste. Food and food packaging comprises nearly 45% of this yearly landfill waste figure, which compels us all to think more seriously about how we purchase and consume food.
Social media has begun to highlight the dedicated environmentalists who have attempted to live waste-free, which is quite a difficult feat to achieve in this day and age. A simple Google search of “zero-waste living” will generate numerous results of blogs showcasing people’s dedication to waste reduction. Check out some of these inspiring blogs for specific tips on how to reduce waste at home.
Some people may estimate their waste by counting the number of trash bags they take to the landfill each month, but the packaging and other bits of trash you throw away outside of your home is also apart of your waste footprint! Some zero-waste pioneers carry around small ball jars with all of the plastic pieces and other random trash bits they’ve collected throughout the month so they can track how much trash they generate when they leave their home. Learning how to reduce waste in all aspects of your life is especially important as climate change looms over us.
One foundational aspect of zero-waste living is learning how to buy in bulk. The benefits of bulk buying include:
1] Reducing packaging waste and exposure to plastic packaging
2] Saving money on certain bulk items, such as spices, bulk herbs/teas, grains, and legumes
3] Choosing your own quantities of foods instead of selecting from pre-packaged amounts (perfect for cooking/baking very large or small quantities)
At Moonflower Co-op, we can certainly help you start on your path toward reducing your waste stream! We currently offer the following bulk items:
- Bulk liquids (oils, vinegars, liquid aminos, vanilla, etc.)
- Bulk spices, herbs, and teas
- Bulk personal care and hygiene products (lotion, laundry detergent, Dr. Bronner’s soap, hand soap, etc.)
- Bulk grains, legumes, flour, granola, and coffee
- Grind your own peanut butter and almond butter
The superior way to purchase bulk foods is to bring your own durable, reusable containers to Moonflower and have us assign them a tare weight before you fill them so we can deduct the weight of the container at the register. We sell small glass jars for spices, herbs, and other items purchased in small quantities. We also stock refillable plastic containers near our bulk personal care section. Ball jars are excellent containers for bulk foods, and we highly recommend them.
Next time you shop the Co-op, take a few minutes to browse our bulk sections throughout the store, and consider slowly switching from certain packaged foods to their bulk counterparts. Buying in bulk offers lots of benefits to shoppers and the planet, and we hope we’ve encouraged you to try buying more bulk foods in 2018.