Can we fight it all? Zero Waste, Plastic-Free, Consumerism & Food Waste

Lately we have been struggling to take the “right” decisions. This year we started, together as a couple, the commitment to reduce our plastic consumption as much as we can, but to reduce food waste as well. These last two weeks we noticed the trouble of taking decisions because, apparently, we haven’t got the perfect way to achieve both goals at the same time in some cases. I’ll explain this:

Plastic free vs. Food waste

We do our grocery shopping, most of it, at the closest supermarket, and sometimes we go to the market to buy the fruits and vegetables when we can’t find something local grown or without plastic packaging. We have had trouble finding a source (bulk or free of packaging) for our quark or cream cheese. So, I’m prioritising avoiding plastic by buying yoghurt in returnable glass jar, beers and juices as well.

But sometimes there are many products about to “expire” in the section of “reduced foods” in the supermarket that mostly is dairy. That’s when the dilemma comes. All of these reduced products come in plastic. So… I want to avoid plastic but at the same time avoid they end up throwing those reduced products because they don’t sell.

Zero waste vs. Consumerism

Ok… this has happened lately since we are planning to sell a LOT of stuff in the flea market this coming Sunday. So we have been putting away or apart the stuff we don’t use, wear, need + utensils we can replace with wood/glass/steel instead of continue using the plastic ones we already had.

So… there has been a lot of buying new stuff that will replace the plastic ones. But that comes with our fight agains consumerism as well. What we find in a second-hand shop or car boot sale is guilt-free because for us is better give it a second life to something in good shape, good quality that someone doesn’t need anymore. But there is a lot of stuff we haven’t found there neither in other shops (eco-friendly, fair-trade shops) and that’s when we have even considered buying online (which is also not the ideal due to the fuel by shipping and not being local-sourced).

I hope by now I have explained myself.

In a nutshell

Sometimes we choose to buy the reduced about-to-expire food from shelves int he supermarket. Most of the times we try to buy package-free or at least returnable bottles.

Sometimes we buy things that will replace the plastic we have. Most of the times we decide to just continue using the ones we have, even though is plastic, but we will use them as much and as long as it is possible to avoid ending up in a landfill or ocean.

It hasn’t been easy for us, although is very rewarding when we see how much we have reduced our waste and how we have improved in our consumerism being more aware of the things we actually “need” + knowing where do they come from, who made them, what are they made of, etc.

Do you also have these battles?
How do you choose? Let us know!
We would use your advice and help 🙂

ecogreenlove | circular love

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9 thoughts on “Can we fight it all? Zero Waste, Plastic-Free, Consumerism & Food Waste

  1. Absolutely, I have a lot of the same type of dilemmas. Should I buy plastic-potted shrubs from questionable sources to plant near the house and keep it cooler in the summer and reduce our AC needs? Should I bake bread myself (and again increase our AC usage to counteract the oven) or buy it at the store in packaging? Should I shop for organic produce at the supermarket a few blocks away to encourage them to stock more organic, or should I support the smaller local grocery store that already sells mostly organic produce?

    For regular activities, I’ve found that personally to make a decision I need to try out each option that I’m seriously considering. I’ve baked bread myself several times but (except for cinnamon bread) it never turns out as well as I hope. In that case, dealing with that plastic bread bag is well worth not having to suffer through my unappetizing bread, or even worse letting it go moldy and I’ll wait some time before trying another recipe. (Fortunately, we’ve found a great local source for package-free bread now.) And after shopping at our smaller grocery store for a bit, I’m now intimidated by the ginormous aisles of chips and all the random junk being sold at the big supermarket. So I definitely know which store I prefer now. For a while I also shunned all plastic containers, but finally realized that they’re super convenient for rescuing abandoned food at the office so I keep a few at my desk. The important thing is to try it out and see what works for you.

    Good luck! And do keep letting us know about the options we have available. It’s always fun having new things to try out. 🙂

    1. Hi Deborah!
      Thank you for your comment, is always nice to know we are not alone hehe. Is interesting because I hadn’t considered the fact of baking bread and the electricity usage by doing this. During winter and summer we were baking our own bread and now in summer we stopped because of the weather (it can get really hot) plus the bread didn’t last too long as well. But we researched between baking the bread in oven or making in with the bread machine and it turned out the expenses of electricity are the same. At the moment we are buying from the bakery which allows us to take our own bag.
      Which is also another point I forgot to mention: we saved the plastic cereal liners for years when we were still buying traditional cereal (now either we make our own musli or we buy it in bulk) and we are still reusing those bags for shopping or crafts.

      I love to read other points I didn’t consider or how others are dealing with this. We trust appreciate your feedback and, as you said, we’re trying out all the options 💚

  2. Dear friends of the world: I would like to give you my considerations about this issue:
    I was born and live in Venezuela. Nowadays we’re in a deep economical crisis which it’s shown to you in the markets: many products have disappeared. I won’t talk about politics, officials and oppositions have a version about that.
    I just only want to tell your community my solutions in order to keep my ordinary life and not die in the middle, according to this unexpected situation but with ecological sense.
    About The hygiene products, I wash my hair 1 a week. I used to do 3 times per week. My new rinse is aloe vera jelly ( I have a very frondous tree in my back yard). Also, I use the aloe vera gel in my face ( I’m 57 years old but I want to be pretty)
    A vegetarian friend taught to make soap with several vegetal oils. I learned to made it and now I use them in my shower, washing clothes, and washing dishes. My deodorant is made with baking soda and corn flour (equal parts). My new toothpaste is a powder made with baking soda, white clay and ground clover. My teeth’s shine and I feel safe about my teeth health.
    Obviously I am recycling shampoo bottles and reusing the same container for my toothpaste and deodorant.
    I stop to buy containers like Tupperware and I reuse all the margarine, butter, ice cream packing for store food in my freezer.
    About the food is more extensive the explanation, but I feel, indeed, more ecological nowadays than before when I participated in ecological shows and demonstrations.
    That is my versions of this challenge “zero waste” in our life. I would like to receive your opinions and suggestions. I have a long way to run, but I think I am in the right track, and this economical turmoil will pass I and I’ll live more free to consume unnecessary things and close to the nature.
    Besitos, besotes from Venezuela

    1. Hola Anamaria!
      Gracias por pasar y dejar un comentario 🙂

      I think what you’re doing is great so far! The crisis per se what Venezuela is living at the moment is definitely not good but looking at the bright side, just like you have expressed, the outcome is not too bad: being aware of what you really need and looking for making your own stuff has come to live healthier.

      I think your version of zero waste and living ecofriendly is actually admirable.

      I hope the situation, not only in Venezuela but all over the world, gets better and we can be more conscious of what we consume.

      💚

  3. Great post. It is a minefield out there once you start to really think about it. I find it difficult to balance plastic free on a budget here. The shops selling food within my budget are generally loaded up with plastic. But when I do manage to buy fruit and veg plastic free, it certainly makes for more interesting dinners as I have to get adventurous planning meals around what I have as opposed to shopping around my meal plan. Ideally I hope to be able to grow more veg all year around eventually. This year as usual I was too optimistic in my gardening skills.
    Switching to reusables and changing to gome made cleaning products bit by bit has definitely helped.

    1. Thank you for passing by and sharing your experiences!
      Is definitely harder for us as well to live by the budget and avoid plastic. But, like you wrote, it makes it fun to plan how to prepare the meals and use up the flavor which for me is not the same, is much better.

      But the outcome is definitely better, the results are worth it and we’ll, it takes some time until we can replace all our plastic consumption but every little change counts and is worth it, that’s how I want to think 🙂

      💚

  4. All. The. Time. It comes down to priorities. For me, nixing the plastic that would be touching my food was more of a priority than keeping the plastic ones and not consuming. So I chose glass, metal, and bamboo for my foodstuffs. Then there were things I had to buy to be more environmentally friendly but unfortunately had to purchase online, like my divacup and clothpads to avoid the chemicals and plastic of disposables. I reasoned the reusability of the pads and cup outweighed their impact from shipping. It’s all about choices, and each choice is personal. 🙂

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