Lists on ‘ways to be green’ don’t really phase me anymore- I often find that the sustainability geeks I know are already doing many of the listed suggestions, and that some of the list frequently borders on condescending in its ease. Use a cloth bag at the grocery store. Put in a CFL! However, until our society is more open to considering more substantial lifestyle changes like No Impact Man and RowdyKittens, lists of how to be green are a manageable tool to encourage the individuals toward an intentional lifestyle.
So today I share with you one of my favorite accomplishable, non-condescending ‘green’ actions: buying in bulk.
It’s a pleasant challenge for me to limit myself to grocery shopping for almost solely bulk items. And it’s cheaper! Above is my recent $30 shopping trip at the Co-op, which includes eggs, caraway seeds, white flour, wheat flour, granola, honey, maple syrup, sugar, oats, lentils, and two cans of coconut milk that weren’t on my shopping list, but were on sale.
Bulk shopping takes a bit of forethought to be sure- one has to collect the jars and tupperware needed for various items, or use a whole bunch of plastic at the store. There is something deeply satisfying about the lack of packaging though, and it’s almost impossible to end up with things you won’t use with bulk because most items are 1. preserved already (often they’re dry) and 2. take more time to throw into one’s shopping cart, so picking something up off the shelves absentmindedly doesn’t really happen.
The lineup of jars filled with grains, legumes, spices, and baking supplies is lovely too, particularly when coupled with fresh veggies from the garden.
Bulk: try it, you’ll like it!