How to Shop - Zero Waste Style
Imagine if every business had zero waste initiatives?
Bring your own mug.
Bring your own straw.
Bring your own bags.
Bring your own jars.
Bring your own everything.
This may sound tedious, if you're not used to these habits. However imagine a world where being wasteful was not an option. You always have to bring your own bags, because single-use plastics are not available. Bring your own straw if you need, because plastic straws have been banned everywhere. Bring your own mug if you're taking a bevy to-go, and you best bring your own jars if you're shopping bulk - because this is the only option.
Here’s the truth: we've been spoiled by wasteful products. But imagine if zero-waste was the only way. How would you like to walk down the street and not see any litter. Picture a tree without a plastic bag stuck in its innocent branches, think of natures beauty minus the squashed coffee cup, and think of the happy turtles thriving in a straw free world. Let’s agree, that this is all in our best interest.
I've been spending time in a local zero-waste shop here in Halifax, Nova Scotia and it has sparked some major inspiration.
Now I want to know. Could you live in a world without plastic, wasteful products and packaging?
Before we go on any further. I will admit this. I am not perfect. There are times when I have been unprepared. I have been out and about, water-less, and have resorted to drinking from the dreadful plastic bottle in order to stay hydrated. I also have countless reusable bags, in every size and colour, but there are times that I’ve forgotten them. I'm just being honest here.
(Please don't worry, I still have some good in me.)
These points pertain to an important lesson that I’ve learned: it only takes a second to go through a mental checklist to ensure you have everything you need before you leave the house. Set yourself up for your success to that you don’t have to feel like you’re constantly forgetting things.
Holisticole is here to inspire. Remember that there is no such thing as throwing something out. This waste has to go somewhere. Are you aware of how much waste you’re producing?
It’s in our best interest to care for our earth, and it feels good to do so. You don’t have to be perfect, what’s better than that, is being aware.
the 5 Zero-Waste Tips to practice
INVEST IN REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS
Did you know that every single piece of plastic made, still exists on our earth? Not only is plastic toxic for the planet, but it’s toxic for our health too. I invested in this set of reusable produce bags to use at the farmers market and grocery store. This is a simple solution for purchasing and storing all your fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. These bags are also made of unbleached and biodegradable natural cotton. Another bonus is that this set also has the tare weight on the tag, this way the bags weight can easily be deducted from your bulk purchase.
KEEP A FOLD-ABLE TOTE ON HAND
I already shared my zero-waste embarrassment of forgetting my one of my million reusable bags at home. Picture me juggling all my groceries to the car. I’ve dropped one too many things in the parking lot and now I always keep one of these fold-able grocery totes in my purse, and sometimes even my coat pocket - because you just never know when you’re going to need a bag, and these are small and handy. Your efforts in staying prepared benefit both your conscious, and our planet.
REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
How many toothbrushes do you think you’ve used in your life? This is an item that we use and toss - lasting maybe a month or two. While brushing your teeth is essential, using plastic to do so is not. Switch out your toothbrush for a bamboo version, these are durable and completely recyclable!
It’s no longer a question of if toxic substances from plastic can migrate into food. The question is now how many toxins can migrate. If I can fit it in my mason jar, that’s where it’s going. Storing in glass makes your meals and drinks taste fresh, glass is easy to clean and is now readily available. It’s also multi-purpose. If you haven’t already made the switch, what are you waiting for?
USE YOUR FANCY WATER BOTTLE
Remember that glass or stainless steel water bottle that you bought or were gifted? We pretty much all have one at this point - use it every day and let’s just put an end to plastic bottles. Not only will you save money by doing this, but it’s a huge benefit to our planet.
I didn’t want to get into the political mega corporation talk but people need to hear this. The water that corporations sell is obtained from public water sources, for next to nothing. In Canada, many provinces now require bottlers to obtain permits to extract this water, but they charge very little for the privilege (in some cases, a corporation can pay just $3.71 for every million litres). Until recently, British Columbia did not regulate the use of industrial groundwater and they allowed Nestlé to extract millions of litres a year from a well in Hope, British Columbia… For free.
If water filtration is on your mind, read this article next.
Meet the Tare Shop
Now, imagine the concept of a zero-waste shop. A place where there is no opportunity for you to resort to earth killing habits. I think there's lots that we can learn from an initiative like this. You didn't bring your own to-go mug? Sorry we don't have disposable cups, but you can take a mug to go. You didn't bring a bag? Well, we don't have plastic, but you can purchase a reusable tote.
The Tare Shop opened in October 2018 by local a local zero-waster, Kate Pepler. After graduating from Dalhousie University, Kate spent the year after graduation figuring out what she could do for the planet and how she could make a difference. This is when her vision of Tare emerged. The Tare Shop combines her passions for the oceans, reducing plastic pollution, environmental education, and fostering community.
So far this local shop has made a big impact on our East Coast community, encouraging Haligonians to be a little more mindful of our small, yet impactful environmental footprint.
You can grab your coffee, groceries, beauty supplies and more - all package-free. With these zero waste initiates, The Tare Shop will inspire you to be a better you, for you - and the planet.