Nothing New: Tools For Bulk Shopping

How to shop in bulk without buying anything new | Zero waste kitchen and pantry | Litterless

There’s nothing like keeping something out of the recycling stream a little longer by putting it to use in your house: satisfying, more sustainable, and, if you’re anything like us and live on the fifth floor of an apartment building, somewhat of an arm-saver as well.

You can buy new tools for shopping in bulk, or you can reuse things you already own. Most of us probably fall somewhere in between those two extremes, but in case you’re still building a grocery shopping kit of your own, here are some of the things you might already own that would work for buying bulk foods:

Bags
-Muslin bags that came with purchases: the dust cover to a handbag or the cloth bag that contained a new journal. Like me, you may have these lying around with no memory of where they came from. Wash and use them.
-A paper bag from the bulk aisle, taken once and then brought back for use until it finally begins to fall apart.
-An old sheet or square of fabric, sewn into simple drawstring bulk bags if you have the skill, or, if not, left as a square and folded as a furoshiki cloth.
-A pile of Ziploc bags you still have hanging out around your kitchen, cleaned and dried.

How to shop in bulk without buying anything new | Zero waste kitchen and pantry | Litterless

Jars
-The plastic containers that the bulk aisle provides, taken once and then washed and reused again and again and again.
-A plastic yogurt container, cleaned and dried.
-A glass jar that once held capers, olives, artichoke hearts, salsa, etc.
-The plastic containers still lurking around in the backs of your kitchen cabinets from when you used to bring your lunch in them. Sure, they’re a bit spaghetti sauce-stained, but they’re just fine.
-Scrubbed glass vinegar bottles (like so), or the bottle your olive oil, honey, maple syrup, or whatever you’re trying to buy originally came packaged in.

How to go zero waste without buying anything new: Shopping the bulk aisle using containers you already own | Litterless

Other resources
-What you may want to include in your grocery shopping kit.
-“Sustainability is not about purchasing green products.
-Mixing old plastic containers into your zero-waste shopping kit, here.
-Use those wide-mouth peanut butter jars for freezing.
-Repurpose your plastics.
-Find a store selling bulk foods near you, here.

Other ideas for scrounged-up, repurposed tools for lower-waste grocery shopping?

More thoughts on going zero waste without buying anything new, here.