When I talk to people about my zero waste journey, often the first thing that comes up is 1. they don't know where to start, and 2. its impossible to buy without plastic. In a society where we are saturated with plastic at every turn, its easy to think 'theres no escaping plastic!', 'how can I buy things without plastic?'
It can seem daunting, and yes you need to be a little prepared but it is possible! Here are a few of my favourite low waste places to shop.
1. Hamilton Farmers Market - Gate 3 Brooklyn Rd, Claudelands. Every Sunday morning 8am-12. Head to the markets every sunday morning to grab the best local seasonal produce the Waikato has to offer. Unfortuntley not all the fresh produce is free of plastic packaging but there is a good variety. I take in my old egg trays to refill, grab Volare bread (in paper bags which I compost) and plenty of greens which i stuff in my reusable mesh bags. They even have a coffee mug libary in case you forget your keep cup
2. Bin Inn. I head to the closest one which is on Grey Street, but they are located in St Andrews and Dinsdale as well. Upon recently moving to Hamilton, I was sceptical that my Bin Inn experience would be as good as Te Awamutu (Murray is a legend), but I have been pleasantly surprised. The staff are incredibly helpful and are always friendly and listen to my thoughts and requests. Here I get all my nuts, grains, flours, and snacks. They have a really good selections and always give a 5% discount. Tu meke!
3. Wholly Cow - for the omnivores, Wholly cow is a fantastic butchery that will let you bring in your own containers.
4. Village Organics - Frankton wouldn't be the same without this organic store. While stores have come and gone Village organics has stood the test of time. They have a great range or fresh produce, bulk bins and canned organic goods that are hard to find elsewhere.
5. Whole Heart, Queenwood - have a small range of dried bulk bins, but also have some beaut organic produce and health foods.
6. Supermarkets - ok hear me out on this one. While yes they aren't zero waste, there are a lot of plastic free options. I stick to the 'round the outside' rule. Most of the natural waste free options are round the outside. Take your own containers to the deli and use the mushroom bags for bulk. Buy in glass and tin, where you can pick BPA free tins.
Special mention to Mrs Goodness, who blogs and creates beautiful glass reusables for cleaning products and fermenting kits. She sells online but have also seen them in Bin Inn. Make sure you check out her blog, she is an inspiration!
Another special mention to the Asian Vege shop on Grey Street, which have a huge range of unpackaged and low waste asian vege.
Buying low waste or zero waste doesn't have to be hard, but it does mean that your diet may change a little. You will eat less processed foods and become more creative with the foods you can get. Happy sustainable days!
Have any other recommendations and tips? Let me know!