What if you don’t have a bulk or refill store near you? It’s a common question when trying to go zero waste and such an important topic to explore. For those in certain areas, refill stores are nowhere to be found. I get it!
For various reasons, we need to provide solutions. I’ve attempted to give a variety of suggestions, but please don’t feel overwhelmed by them. Not everything is possible for every person—that’s okay. Consider this a “tasting menu” if you will: choose one or two things to try, and then possibly move on to more.
I know there are lots of other suggestions I haven’t included and I’d love to hear from you! What have I forgotten?
Do your best with what you have
- Many grocery stores have package-free produce and bulk sections.
- Visit farmers’ markets, or look up community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs near you.
- Choose glass, metal, or cardboard packaging that can be reused or recycled.
- If you need to choose plastic, try to choose those that are more easily recycled: #1 and #2.
- Choose larger packages and avoid individually wrapped items.
- Buy some products online (such as shampoo bottles).
- Grow your own food.
- Do some DIYs and homemade options (such as hummus or muffins).
Do good in other ways
- Eat less meat and dairy.
- Choose reusable period products.
- Bring your own bags, straws, cutlery, takeout containers, travel mug, and water bottle.
- Use reusables at home, such as cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, reusable food wraps, and rags instead of paper towels.
- Drive less.
- Reduce food waste, and compost.
- Donate to nonprofit organizations.
- Write companies to ask for better packaging (or no packaging at all).
- Follow politics, and speak out when you feel strongly, such as by writing your MPs.
Make other ethical purchasing decisions
- Buy secondhand.
- Buy from local craftspeople and artisans.
- Avoid palm oil (which is creating deforestation and habitat loss).
- Support organic and/or regenerative agriculture, which helps soil health and biodiversity.
- Choose certified Fair Trade products.