Once you get used to turning down unnecessary items, you can start to establish some new shopping habits. According to Katelin Leblond, the zero-waste blogger behind PAREdown, it’s all about going to stores with a few zero-waste essentials in hand—and having fun with it. She writes about her family’s trash-free grocery routine in saying, “I now go to the grocery store armed with reusable totes, bulk bags, and a large container or two for meat and bakery items. I buy unpackaged produce, dried goods from bulk bins, and loose items that would otherwise go to waste, like single bananas. My children get involved by making a game out of finding the pieces of produce without stickers.”
If you’re already stocking up on loose fruits, vegetables, and bulk bin items like beans and pastas, the next step could be getting a little crafty at home. In her piece on how to reduce shopping waste, sustainable business owner Sacha Dunn adds that growing a few herbs of your own can save a lot of plastic and food waste in the long run. “Instead of spending money on plastic-packed herbs—that you only ever use half of anyway—grow your own on your windowsill.” Even if you don’t have a green thumb, plants like mint, thyme, and rosemary are all great low-maintenance options to start with.