I have not been compensated for this post. I simply like this product a lot.
I live a short bike ride away from the Googleplex, in the heart of Silicon Valley. I ride past the silly looking self-driving cars nearly every day. I know more engineers than is healthy. In short, technology engulfs me. Yet, I can’t help but notice that the more “advanced” we become, the less we can—or want to—take care of our basic needs, such as feeding ourselves. Truly, we need to relearn many skills, such as how to shop.
With five pounds going to landfill every day for every American, I think most reasonable people would agree that we must reduce our waste. I suggest starting in the kitchen.
In order to run my zero-waste kitchen, I need to do a bit of planning before I shop, but not much. Before hitting the farmer’s market, grocery store or bulk bins, I take a look at the running shopping list on my phone and add a few things I might need. With list in hand, I then gather my equipment.
1. Glass jars
I use these for bulk items, liquids and berries that I don’t want to transform to jam on the way home. Ask customer service to tare your jars (i.e., weigh them and mark that number on the container) before you fill them up to avoid paying for the weight of the jar. The cashier will deduct the tare when you check out.
2. Glass or metal containers
I use these for meat, fish and poultry (we eat only a little of each.) The butcher will set the scale to zero before placing your order in your container so you pay only for the contents. Or the butcher will look at you completely bewildered. Keep trying. Educate. Win them over with your charm.
3. Cloth produce and bulk bags
If you do nothing else to reduce your waste, get some of these. My daughter and I sewed simple cloth produce bags back in 2011 and they have yet to wear out. I use these for fruit and vegetables at the farmer’s market and grocery store if I don’t make it to the farmer’s market. At the bulk bins I fill these with beans, rice, grains, pasta, nuts…chocolate occasionally 😉
Stitchology Zero-Waste Shopping Kit
The owner and designer of Stitchology sent me a zero-waste shopping kit and I would like to raffle it off. This kit sells online for $45, which I think is a good deal. I sew and know that organic cotton—if you can find it—costs a small fortune.
Here’s what’s in the kit:
- 2 tote bags
- 3 large drawstring produce/bulk bags
- 3 medium drawstring produce/bulk bags
- 3 small drawstring produce/herb bags
- 1 washable crayon for writing item codes on the bags
Stitchology makes these bags by hand with quality, lightweight, unbleached organic cotton fabric. And the tares are already stamped on them in both ounces (as shown in the pic) and pounds (on the reverse side). So clever! When the bags get dirty, just toss them in the washing machine. (I have beaten my dirty laundry on rocks in a river to clean them and it does work, but I don’t recommend it.) If the bags eventually wear out, you can compost them.
To enter the raffle, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post or on my Facebook or Instagram before noon Pacific time, Saturday, October 3rd if you live in the US (apologies to non-US residents). If you don’t win this zero-waste kit, you can order one—and also individual bags—on the website www.Stitchology.com. I’m not a big consumer and I don’t like to tell people to buy more stuff but I would buy these if I didn’t sew my own (these are nicer than mine…).
Reusable cloth produce and bulk bags are a necessity if you shop for food or eat food.