Many people believe that Zero Waste is inaccessible because it requires you to find new places to shop to be able to make the lifestyle possible. It’s really not true. Not having specialty stores in your area are not a hindrance to this lifestyle. There are other solutions even if you just have supermarkets near you. I went through the 1000+ items in Amazon Fresh’s WholeFoods selection to show you just how you can make a zero waste purchase from the supermarket (even a virtual one).
Don’t shop look for food swaps look for your options
You’ll end up putting yourself into an impossible situation if you try to look for solutions to the product you are already using. Think about it. Some of these product you should probably eliminate from your diet anyway. We really don’t know what it being put into our food and all those unpronounceable ingredients are not helping us to live healthier lives. Shop for ingredients not products. Then use those ingredients to make delicious meals at home. There are so many websites and blogs with recipe options if you get stuck. Check out my pinterest recipe board if you need some ideas of where to get started.
Bring out your inner DIY condiment chef
You will be absolutely surprised at many of the items you are currently buying that are extremely easy to make at home and require very few ingredients (for example mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise). You don’t have to be an expert chef and you can experiment and make it your own. Condiments are great to make because you will use them for a long time and have to invert little energy and time.
Buy ingredients, not products
If it has more than 3 ingredients, as we stay at my job, put it down. You’re not eating food, you’re eating a product. This little change will help make it easier to shop the supermarket zero waste. You’ll spend more time on the perimeters of the supermarket with the fruits & veggies, meats, and other fresh produce. Not only will you be keeping the planet cleaner, but you’ll be eating cleaner. Bring your bags, containers, jars, etc. to the supermarket to select these items. And be proud of the actions you are taking. Others will follow suit.
Be conscious with packaging
If you absolutely need to buy something in packaging it is probably something that you use often. It’s perfectly fine to have items that you know will be producing waste, if not this lifestyle would be too restrictive and not attainable. But, when buying these items you can also be more conscious. Try to search for the largest quantity you can find to reduce the number of times you need to buy it and reduce the amount you add to the landfills. The point is not to be so restrictive that you will end up giving up. It’s to make small changes and adaptation to live more sustainably.
What to buy from Amazon – WholeFoods offerings
So without further ado, here’s the list of pantry and fridge items I think fit the lifestyle from WholeFoods. There are probably others you would add, based on what you eat. I’ll post some recipes for condiments this week to keep you inspired!
For the fridge:
- Eggs – use the carton as a seed starter!
- Salted butter – the box and paper can be recycled
- Coconut oil – excellent for frying and for skin care
- Lemon juice – make lemonade at home and use it to clean your meats
- Organic apple juice – while I recommend that you make your own juice if drinking any or giving them to kids, but this is a great option to have juice and then have an excellent receptacle for future homemade drinks without having to buy it.
- Raspberry fruit spread – you could also make your own, but it must more time consuming to start making your own jams
- Sparkling water – great for hydration and avoiding sugary drinks
For the pantry:
- Black beans – turn the can into a flower pot to avoid waste!
- Chicken broth – recycle the carton – remove the plastic top first
- Organic tomato sauce – reuse the jar for bulk or storing leftovers
- Garbanzo beans – great for salad and making homemade hummus
- Tomato paste – the first ingredient to making your own ketchup!
- Kalamata olives
- Coconut milk
- Rolled oats
- Maple syrup
- Artichoke quarters
- All Purpose Flour or Whole wheat flour – the packaging is easy to recycle (tip: put the flour in your fridge to keep it fresher for longer)
- Buttermilk pancake and waffle mix -I don’t like mixes because they are often filled with a lot of unnecessary ingredients, but they are definitely a bit time saver. Something simple like a pancake mix could be a great solution.
- Tuna – reuse the metal cans for candle holders or seed starters and recycle the rest.
- Sliced beets – great for making a cold salad with avocado and goat cheese, mmmm!
- White vinegar – vinegar is such an amazing tool that you need in your kitchen. Both for cooking and cleaning. And it’s even good for your health.
- Extra virgen olive oil – kitchen essential!
- Balsamic vinegar – another essential, especially for salads
- Soy sauce – whip up a wok with veggies, noddles, egg, and a bit of soy sauce – simple and delicious!
- Teriyaki sauce – another great addition to your wok or with tofu or chicken
- Peanut sauce – sauce are a great way to liven up a meal, check out the ingredients first. Peanut sauce is one of my weaknesses
- Instant coffee – look for glass bottles and paper bags instead of plastic ones (For more about zero waste coffee check out this post.)
For your spice rack (some of the basics):
- Vanilla extract
- Garlic powder
- Baking soda– also great as deodorant
- Sea salt
- Baking powder
- Black pepper
- Ground ginger
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black peppercorns
- Almond extract
- Sea salt grinder – this glass grinder can be refilled and used again and again
- Ground mustard seed– use this make your own mustard sauce (it only take 5 minutes)
How do you stay zero waste at the supermarket? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this post you’ll probably like:
- Our (almost) Zero Waste Kitchen
- My 8 favorite Amazon Zero Waste swaps
- What do a week of Zero Waste shopping and meals look like?