Walking through a conventional grocery store sometimes brings me angst. I am surrounded by plastic. Have you actually stopped and looked around? Excluding the produce section (but ignoring the flimsy, dolphin-choking produce bags in that section), any aisle you’re in is almost plastered by, in and with plastic. Picture the baking aisle: baking powder, cinnamon, chocolate chips, cream of tartar, specialty flours, nuts and the list goes on. Go down the chip aisle [insert horror movie scream].
There are ways to avoid the plastic. There are two options to start (and I have blogged about both): bulk refill shopping where you take your own containers and fill them with all sorts of things and shopping at farmers’ markets, and the like, where farmers often bring their lot in bins and baskets. There is a third option. For me it’s supplementary, though I know they’re succeeding in the marketplace and some of their customers are using them as a primary option. That’s Zerocery!
Here is something I didn’t mention before, because it’s a new experience for me, but I have been ordering groceries from a local online, no-waste grocer called Zerocery. I will say I am super impressed so far with my two months worth of orders, and they carry loads! I can’t believe I can buy Barrie’s Asparagus tortilla chips from them with no waste!My first impression of Zerocery in a post from October 2019
Here are the main reasons I love this online, local, zero waste grocer, and why I support them every week:
- they are a zero waste provider: pantry items in repurposed glass jars, meats wrapped in wax-free deli paper, dairy products in refundable glass bottles, pasta in brown bags (which I then repurpose as compost bags)
- they carry high-quality, beautiful products and work hard to source the best selections
- they carry a lot of organic, fair trade, plant-based and gluten-free products
- they carry a majority of locally-sourced produce and groceries
- they support local and small businesses
- they are a small business and work tirelessly to put out an excellent experience while delivering really fantastic customer service
- they have a seamless, easy-to-use website to order and navigate
- they are particular and careful about how they deliver their products. For instance, they use reusable ice packs to keep milk cold, reusable sacks to protect meats and fish and add notes to the buyer for home care (i.e. place tortilla chips in an airtight container)
- they have a super awesome “imperfect produce bag” that carries discounted veggies and fruits that are often ignored by chain grocery stores due to their bumps or malformed shapes
- they carry Barrie’s Asparagus tortilla chips! Chips without waste!! (You’d think this was a plug for these tasty, scrumptious, spectacular nachos!)
Here’s how I incorporate Zerocery into my weekly grocery routine:
- I think of the regular items I stock weekly that are really hard to find with no to low waste (cheese, nachos, almond milk)
- I think of the items that I need for the recipes I am making for the week that are also no or low waste (sprigs of herbs, pasta)
- I think of the items that I need as part of my daily routine (cranberries and raisins for kids’ lunches, cream for coffee)
Then, once my list is done, those are the items I buy at Zerocery. I find their prices reasonable considering the high quality they are delivering. Excellent selections and care and taste, but I can’t afford all my groceries from them. This keeps things in harmony for me. I have a tight budget, but I am conscientious of my impact on the planet and my family’s health. I am spending my money only on items that I know conventionally come with waste (chicken drumsticks on a bed of Styrofoam wrapped in cling film). That way, for my small budget, I can spend the rest at traditional grocery stores getting items like loose produce (carrots, lemons), items that come in recyclable cans (peas, tuna) and cardboard-based packaging (white sugar).
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, having a stocked kitchen, pantry and fridge is pretty satisfying, but knowing you’re doing it with zero waste and 100 per cent nutritious is really satisfying! What’s easier than a service delivery that comes to your door? Being kind to planet Earth, that’s what! Man, this is as easy as pie… and ordering the ingredients too!