Zero waste. Really?
Zero. The big goose egg. Nada. Is it just me or does that seem like a really high bar?
ZERO.WASTE. For some reason these two words make me feel like my efforts are inadequate.
I love the idea of zero waste and am passionate about sustainable living… but am I really going to promise that I will never buy another bag of Miss Vickie’s chips? Probably not. Or at least not until they start selling them at a good bulk price in a spotless bin in my local grocery store.
So what can I do? That’s the question I asked myself when I started this journey and it’s likely the question many are asking as they start their transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
For me, the answer was to focus on two words I felt confident I could live up to: REDUCE and REUSE.
Since most of my purchases take place at the grocery store, I decided to start there. I was already using my own bags at the grocery checkout, so it was an easy adjustment to buy mesh bags and do the same in the produce section. As it turns out, it’s a big improvement. Unlike the plastic bags on the roll, I can easily find the open end of my mesh bags. When I get home, I can rinse my produce while it’s still in the bag. It wasn’t long before I bought a second set so I could use one in my fridge and keep the other in my car.
If you haven’t already got mesh produce bags, I’d encourage you to buy some. I stock Canadian made cotton mesh bags at www.tenthousandless. You get three bags (5x7’, 8x10’ and 12x15”) for $20.00.
This is a great price and probably why they are the top selling item on my site. After donating $1.00 to wildlife preservation there is little profit but I sell them at this price because my company is called ten thousand less and my goal is to reduce single use plastic bags on Vancouver Island by 10,000 units. On average, Canadians use 6 plastic bags in the produce section every time they visit the grocery store so if we all make this change, it won’t be long before that goal is met.
I hope someday we can all be living in a zero waste world but the first step is to choose to reuse, and if you’re making that step, give yourself a pat on the back.