Zero Waste Shopping: A How To Guide

One of the most common questions I get is how to shop in bulk or package free. In this series of videos you will learn how to tare your jars to buy bulk, how to buy liquids in bulk, and how to buy solids in bulk so that you can be prepared to shop Zero Waste anywhere that offers bulk!

IMPORTANT: very often I hear that people feel uncomfortable trying to buy things package free because they are afraid the people will look at them like they are weird, or challenge them. Well, guess what, Zero Waste is NOT the norm and it is likely that people might not know what you are doing.

EMBRACE IT! If someone looks at you when you try to shop Zero Waste, it is most likely because you are the first person that they have ever seen shopping that way and they don’t know what you are doing, it’s not that they think you are weird! Take this as an opportunity to educate someone or reach out to them and explain what you are doing in a positive way. Remember, the more you shop package free, the more common it will become for stores and other shoppers and the more comfortable others will feel doing it. I believe in living my values, and so I am never afraid of looking different from others, I embrace it!

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How to Shop at the Farmers Market Without Producing Waste

When I first started living a Zero Waste lifestyle I had never really shopped at a farmers market before. It seemed intimidating, scary, and overwhelming. But a few simple shopping hacks made it a lot easier and made buying food go from a super wasteful, time consuming process, to one that is easy and totally waste free! Check out this video to see how I shop at the farmers market.

Step 1: Big Stuff, Big Bag. Any large items don’t need a bag of their own, just throw them in your tote!
Step 2: Small Stuff, Small Bag. Any small loose items can be put into smaller organic cotton reusable bags, or any smaller reusable bag you have (or make!)
Step 3: Reuse containers whenever possible. This works well for berries, eggs, and other items that might have a container. Bring them back to the farmer so they can reuse them.
Step 4: Pay in cash to avoid receipts.
Step 5: Napkins double as a great way to buy bread and pastries package free!

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How To Shop Zero Waste at the Farmers Market

Every Saturday I go to the farmers market in my neighborhood in Brooklyn to drop off my compost and to buy my food for the week. Not only is it less expensive than going to a conventional supermarket, it creates a lot of diversity in my diet because I arrange my meals based on what is fresh and seasonal.

In this video you will learn how I prepare before I go to the market and the tools that I bring to ensure it is completely waste free.

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How to Tare a Jar and Shop Waste Free

Zero Waste food shopping is a weekly activity for me. I go to the farmers market for my produce and use reusable organic cotton bags for items like nuts but for wet items like honey, olive oil, flour, and spices, I opt for jars to keep things organized and make cleaning simple.

Learn how I do it using five simple steps!

Step 1: Choose your Jar (I love mason jars because they have a standard weight, but you can also upcycle your own jars)

Step 2: Tare (pre-weigh) your jar. Why? Because when the cashier gets the jar, they can subtract the weight of the jar from the total weight, so you are only paying for what is inside. You can write the tare on your jar in permanent marker to make it easy to remember.

Step 3: Fill your jar and write down the number of the item you are buying. I like to keep a note open on my cellphone that has the item name and number to expedite the checkout process, plus it’s waste free!

Step 4: Tell the cashier the weight of your jar and they can deduct that from the total weight of the jar

Step 5: Say THANK YOU to the awesome store for letting you bring your own packaging!

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Plastic Bags

I’m starting a new series called Simple Swaps where I will share videos on easy ways to transition away from disposables and towards a more sustainable lifestyle. My first one: plastic bags.

With an estimated 2 million plastic bags being used and discarded every minute worldwide, we’ve got a serious problemo on our hands. But there’s an easy way you can eliminate your daily use of plastic bags…

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Zero Waste Picnic


I’m so grateful to have friends that are passionate about lots of different things. Two of my friends, Anna and Kate, are passionate about healthy, Organic food and we decided to join forces and have a Zero Waste picnic.

The planning was easy because we chose to make our picnic potluck style. We each made a dish and since I was hosting the picnic at my house, I provided the blanket, silverware, cups, and plates. However, if you wanted to host this at a park or beach or wherever, you could have each person bring their own plate/cup/napkin/fork to make carrying everything easier.

Anna and Kate brought their dishes in mason jars and larger, lidded glass containers instead of in plastic or other disposables. This made cleanup and carrying the food extremely easy and prevented spillage! Also, since our meal was vegan, Organic, and mostly raw, our ingredients were easily found package-free!

I made mashed purple potatoes with roasted onions, Kate made spaghetti squash with figs and vegan cheese topping, and Anna made roasted eggplant with tomato sauce and brussel sprouts. For dessert we had fresh figs and dried dates. To drink I served meyer lemon vodka with sparkling water infused with basil and mint from my terrace garden.

The cleanup could not have been easier since 1) we ate all of the food and 2) there were only a few jars and plates to clean, and the girls took their containers home, so I only had to clean 3 cups, 3 forks, a couple of serving spoons, and 3 plates. This event was so simple that it could be scaled up for more people without much effort at all and is the perfect way to host your friends because everyone gets to make something that they love and share it with one another.

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Coconut Butter


Coconut butter. This might be one of the easiest things to make, ever. It is creamy, rich, and sweet and only takes about 5 minutes to make.

All you need…

-A few cups of Organic shredded coconut (I buy mine in bulk and it is SO inexpensive)
-A food processor
-A jar with a lid … That’s it!

To make the coconut butter put a couple of cups of coconut in the food processor and grind it until it becomes a smooth liquid. Using a spatula, occasionally scrape the sides of the processor to get everything combined evenly. I use this opportunity to check the consistency and to taste. Once it is a smooth consistency put it into a mason jar. I wish I could tell you how long it will last for, but I eat mine within a couple of days so I have never had the opportunity to find out.

How do you eat it? On a spoon, in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with berries, with granola, over a banana, on your fingers, all the time. It is SO delicious.

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