“Zero waste meal planning” doesn’t always mean “zero meal, wasted planning”… although, I’ll admit sometimes it does end up that way. Here are a few tips and examples of how I’ve survived without plastic in the kitchen.
Some of these items I can find at my local farmer’s market which is the best option for sustainability. I have had a lot of success grocery shopping in bulk at Whole Foods. They always take my containers with a smile and never make me feel like an inconvenience. For some of my more obscure bulk purchases, I head to Earth Fare (i.e oil, vinegar, spices, etc.).
Mason jars are amazing for food storage! However… they are fragile and can be very heavy for those of us who have to walk or bike to the grocery store. I typically opt for plastic tupperware when I head to the store. It can be stacked in your reusable grocery bag so it wont take up much space and its lightweight. My suggestion: transfer your bulk rice, quinoa, beans, nuts, flour, etc. to a glass mason jar once you get home. It will keep your items fresher longer and let’s be honest, mason jars look better than tupperware.
Plan out your trip before you go to the grocery store. On your shopping list, make note of which items will need containers and what size containers they may need.
**make sure you have weighed your containers before you fill them. Either take them to the deli and have them weigh out the containers all at once or make sure you do it at each counter you visit. For bulk food items, at Whole Foods at least, you will need to weigh your containers at customer service first or at the deli counter.**
Depending on how the farmer’s market went on Saturday, I’ll have a few different things for breakfast.
A little fun note about french press coffee: it is one of the most zero waste coffee options out there!! If you haven’t tried it out, I strongly suggest it. Your coffee grounds can be composted when you’re done!
I just really like sandwiches. Sometimes I’ll let myself have chips. Late July chips come in a recyclable bag with TerraCycle… which isn’t zero waste but I’m grateful for it.
Dinner is my most creative meal. Normally I’ll do fish, quinoa/rice, and roasted broccoli, butternut squash and onions. But sometimes… I get creative!
Going zero waste is about changing our behaviors and habits. It doesn’t just happen, we have to actively challenge ourselves to be accountable.