In November of 2018, I became conscious of my family's household waste. I realized that the bulk of our waste was from packaged food products. Most of the packages were not of value on the recycle market and were likely ending up in the landfill.
After some research, I noticed that most of our general household pantry items could be found locally in bulk. With the intention to drastically reduce the amount of waste my family puts on the curb I took action immediately by:
- Sewing myself some reusable produce bags. It didn’t take long to build a collection of 15 bags to fill with lots of produce that my family enjoys on a regular basis.
- Shopping in bulk for produce at H &W, a local produce store.
- Shopping at Bulk Barn and Earth's General Store as they offer the option bring your own container to refill when shopping for bulk items. (Both stores take the tare weight of my containers before I shop then subtract that weight when I pay for my items).
|A 3lb pre-packaged bag of apples cost |
more than my 3 lb reusable bag full!
I also found that more variety was available in bulk for items like flours, grains, and legumes. Looking back over my grocery budget over the last six months, I have spent less each month as I continued on my refillable journey.
Making the decision to change my family's shopping habits resulted in shopping at local, Edmonton based stores that were actually closer to my home than my former one stop shopping centre. Choosing to shop differently has helped reduce the amount of curbside waste we set out and support Edmonton based businesses.
Now, six months into my refill shopping journey, I refill an average of 50-60 containers a month. I am able to regularly purchase items in bulk by refilling my containers with items including and not limited to:
- Gluten free and specialty flours
- Oatmeal and cereal
- Coffee and loose leaf tea
- Dried fruit, dates and dried coconut flakes
- Sugars and xylitol
- Nutritional yeast
- Baking ingrediants like baking powder, yeast and baking soda
- Maca powder
- Textured vegetable protein
- Pasta, quinoa and rice
- Coconut oil and local canola oil
- Pink salt
- Sundried tomatoes
- Organic vanilla
- Liquid shampoo and liquid conditioner
- Topical essential oils
- Frozen fruit
- Frozen perogies
- Frozen vegan meat alternatives
Michelle joined the MCR ranks in May of 2019. Michelle is passionate about waste reduction in Edmonton. I also am on my own journey of living a more sustainable life, and love to pass along all the tips and tricks I’ve learned! If you like to see my Journey in more detail or watch as I explore further into waste reduction you can follow me on Facebook @earthkeeperedm or Instagram @earthkeeper .