A lot of waste happens in the kitchen.
This waste can take many forms; from packaging to food that has gone bad and needs to be thrown away and these are things that can both be lessened by buying in bulk.
Now buying in bulk is something that is really growing in popularity in both bigger stores and in small dedicated bulk and zero waste stores.
Now why is buying in bulk great?
- Cost: Quite often bulk items are cheaper then buying items packaged, especially if you only need a very small amount for a specific recipe
- Environmental impact: In many places you can buy bulk with your own containers or bags, saving plastic and other container waste and you can reuse these containers over and over again
- Food Waste: It is sad how much food that we waste every day because it has gone bad in our fridges and cupboards. If you buy in bulk you can buy specifically what you need and what you know you can use before it goes bad
As zero waste and being more environmentally friendly is becoming more popular entire stores dedicated to bulk buying and being package free have been started around the world which is awesome. I was able to visit Nada in Vancouver which is one of these stores and I loved how many different things they had.
Alongside things such as fresh fruits and vegetables they also had a massive dry goods bulk section, but also things such as maple syrup, ice cream, bread, and dishwasher detergent. Alongside all of the food items they also had containers, beeswax wraps, reusable straws, and bags.
Everything here is sold by weight. You weigh your containers at the beginning of your shopping trip and then they deduct that cost from the final price.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated zero waste store there are many other stores that have some bulk options. Here in Canada Bulk Barn now lets you bring in your own clean container to fill up from all of their containers which is awesome. I also just came across a business right near my house which sells bulk cleaning supplies and things such as shampoo and conditioner so check around where you live as they are popping up everywhere.
But even if you don’t have any of those your regular grocery store probably has some sort of bulk section. While many may not let you use your jars and cans (yet) many you bring light cotton or mesh begs to fill up with items instead of their plastic bags. For some that are quite strict you can wash their plastic bags and reuse them as many times as you can. Some bulk sections are even really cute like this one I found in Portland.
Buying in bulk, at least for a few things, can be a really easy way to start or continue your journey to creating less waste.
What do you like to buy in bulk?