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25 Dec 2016


Have you ever been to a package-free bulk store? If you haven’t, you’re totally missing out!
As I mentioned in my ‘5 ways to go green’ post, zero waste shopping is sooo beneficial for the environment. And also for your health. And your wallet, honestly! But how exactly do you zero waste shop? Let me explain!

I love zero waste shopping. There’s something relaxing and calming about going to these bulk stores. You can buy whatever you want and how much you want, without having to worry about bringing home a ton of trash. Besides that, I find that these package-free stores have a much more positive, laid-back, easy-going and comfortable vibe. It’s usually not that busy, the shop owners are so friendly and helpful and honestly, the overall shopping experience is a lot more enjoyable than your usual stressful supermarket groceries.

Want to give it a go?

There’s really only one key thing you should remember when you go zero waste shopping: bring. your. own. packaging.
Obviously, that’s essential for a successful shopping trip.
The first time you go to a bulk store, you’ll have to weigh your containers and place a permanent weight sticker on it or write the tare on the bottom. That’s just to make check-out easier, because the price is calculated by weighing your products and subtracting the weight of your container.
When you’re done weighing your jars, you can fill them up with whatever you want to buy. 

When I go to my bulk store in Antwerp, I like to bring a few essentials.

Containers, containers and even more containers
Glass jars, Tupperware containers, bottles or whatever you have lying around all do the trick. We prefer to only use glass containers. Yes, they are heavier, but they're inert and don't contain any bad chemicals like plastic does. These are the sizes we generally like to bring.

large - perfect for oats, pasta, rice, flour, cookies etc.
medium - perfect for coconut oil, sugar, cacao, seeds and nuts
small - especially great for spices
glass bottles - perfect for olive oil, vinegar, etc.

Reusable bags
We always like to bring reusable cotton bags. Obviously, you're going to want to bring a big bag to put all your groceries in. We also bring smaller cotton bags and mesh bags. These are perfect for buying dry goods like pasta, nuts, seeds, lentils, rice, and also for vegetables and bread for example. They are awesome because they don’t take up any space and are super light-weight.

A shopping list
You can obviously go to a bulk store without a plan and just browse around, but it's much more efficient to set up a shopping list in your phone. In the spirit of minimalism and zero waste, we try to buy only the things we really need. That’s another huge advantage of zero waste shopping. What if you only needed a pinch of cinnamon for that one recipe, but you don’t really use cinnamon anywhere else? You can literally buy exactly the amount you need, without having to worry about wasting food or spending money on it if you’re not going to eat anyway. Isn't that perfect? :)

That should do it!

Curious to see what we buy when we go package-free shopping? Check out my Instagram-post here for a zero waste haul!

Be sure to check out this link if you want to find a bulk store near you:

And if you’re from Belgium, here’s a list of all of our zero waste stores around the country!

I’m in the midst of studying for my exams at the moment, but I’ll be back in a couple of weeks!
Until then, I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a gracefully green 2017! (See what I did there? Haha J)

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