Reducing waste, with objective of zero waste?!?

Anyone else trying to reduce the waste that they generate.

I've always been interested in environmental issues, but have found that my actions don't match my views.

My natural personality is a bit like a minimalist womble. That is I hate waste, like things to be re-used, but don't like to hoard or keep things. I guess I don't really like shopping so a lot of this has been easy enough, but I'm amazed how much plastic is out there! It just keeps coming in to the house, never mind the random bits that already made their way in that never got minimised!

I don't have a bulk store near me, but with a combination of different markets not too far from me I can get most things or even with just paper packaging (compostable / easily recyclable)

Wins from the last week
- Found a source of milk in glass bottles
- Think I've found a bulk source of tea and coffee, I'll find out on Saturday :)
- Big win is I've made my own butter spread - just mixing butter + oil. My OH likes his spread, I don't see him compromising on this and I now know what the ingredients are!
- Back in to the cycle of making my own yoghurt (don't this before)

- need to find a butchers to buy meat/fish without plastic
- need to find a method of purchasing cheese
- My current bin recycling collection doesn't take foil, I'm collecting it in the hope I can figure something out.

Buying used was something I'd have done a lot in the past, so no big deal.

I guess reducing food waste will help save some money, but I didn't waste a whole lot before. I have found in the supermarket, buying lose veg is more expensive than pre-packaged. But I guess in the market, I'm buying off the farmer and I don't mind paying a little more for organic and helping pay for his livelihood.


  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I'm lucky in that I live in an area where a huge amount of waste can be recycled.

    Personally, I'm not inclined to buy more expensive "artisan" food, just because it comes in a paper bag rather than a plastic wrapper. Nor would I would use extra fuel driving all over town just to do so.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • FrugalWorkerFrugalWorker Forumite
    193 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    Funny, you've made the assumption that reducing waste is buying artisan products. I've found most decisions are far more basic - buying the unpackaged tomatoes versus the ones in plastic. I've decided if I want a coffee when I'm out, I can sit down in a cafe, use a reusable cup if the cafe allow or I'll just do without.

    In the market, on my direct bus route home from work, for which I've a monthly ticket, I can get rice/pasta/quinoa/flour/oats/sugar/nuts/dried fruit/etc... without packaging. But in the standard supermarkets most of these come wrapped in plastic. So for me, it just means a bit of planning so I know to stop off on my way home from work.

    I won't be successful all the time, I can but do my best.
  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I do prefer to buy loose fruit and veg from the supermarket, where it's available. It's often cheaper as well. But it still ends up in a small plastic bag.

    On the plus side, I have so many of those fruit and veg bags that I haven't had to buy a sandwich bag for years.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
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