Avoid Plastic Bags
Avoid Plastic Packaging
Buy the Largest Container
Eat a More Plant-Based Diet
Cutting more animals products out of our diets has many health and environmental benefits. Most animal products are packaged in nonrecyclable plastic packaging which usually leads to most of the waste we toss after we prepare dinner. By making fruits and vegetables a bigger part of our diets, we not only lessen our trash waste but also contribute to overall energy, water, and greenhouse gas reduction.
Grow and Can Your Own Food
If you have space, start a garden! Gardening will save you money, eliminate a lot of packaging waste, and is pretty darn rewarding! Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you go to the store to buy fresh herbs and you are paying $5 for a plastic clamshell of a few sprigs? Yea – no thank you! Keep pots of herbs on your patio or deck and have them all summer for you to access. A lot of herbs can also be brought indoors during the winter – and you can dry them.
Canning your excess garden produce is another fantastic way to stock up for the year and reduce food packaging waste. Every year I plant a few tomato plants and can crushed tomatoes, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, soup, ketchup, and tomato paste that lasts me the whole year. You may think that I just spend my whole summer canning food but that is absolutely not true. I dedicate a couple of weekends in the summer to get all of it done and that’s it. Definitely worth it for the amount of food I stock up on and money I save!
Start Making More Food From Scratch
There are a lot of prepackaged foods we buy that we can easily make with less waste. Now, I’m not saying that you have to start churning your own butter but spending a weekend a year to make jam for the year will save a lot of waste and money. Also, salad dressings, ketchup, and mustard are easy things to whip up. You can also get your kids involved on taco night by having them help make homemade tortillas. Getting back in the kitchen and cooking with our families has more than one benefit!
Compost and Recycle
Composting and recycling are key steps for those who do not have access to as many package-free food options. Compost your paper and cardboard and recycle your glass and metal to keep them out of the dump. If you don’t have a way to compost your food and paper, look for city drop off locations or pick up programs. You can also see if a friend or family member will let you dump your organic waste into their compost – if they have one.
As you can see, there are so many ways you can reduce your food packaging waste without having access to bulk. In my opinion, some of the above options are better than buying out of the bulk bins, anyway.
What are ways you reduce food packaging waste without access to bulk?