Last Updated on January 23, 2024
Throughout the next couple of months, I will be working on the Zero Waste Grocery Store Challenge. I’m repping the Pacific US: “Hella, Dude, Cowabunga.” …although most of my grocery stores are national.
Table of Contents
breakdown of who’s who and where:
-East: Meredith from Meredith Tested: Trader Joe’s, Costco, Hannaford Supermarket, and Wal-Mart.
-South: Manuela from The Girl Gone Green: will be going to Aldi, Publix, Thrive, and Wal-Mart.
-Midwest: Celia from Litterless: will be taking you to Kroger, Jewel-Osco, and Wal-Mart.
-West: Andrea of Be Zero: will be featuring Lucky’s, Safeway, and Wal-Mart.
-Pacific: Kathryn of Going Zero Waste will be visiting Target, Grocery Outlet, and Wal-Mart.
Follow the #ZWGroceryChallenge on social media and join in! Share your triumphs, challenges, questions, and requests!
a note on sustainability at chain stores:
Here’s the deal. Yes, it is absolutely ideal to buy all of your food from bulk with as little packaging as possible. It’s ideal to buy from a local shop in your community that obtains all of its goods from local, sustainable organic farms. But, I’m going to say this again for the people in the back, NOT EVERYONE LIVES IN AN IDEAL WORLD.
I have received several not so nice emails from several readers explaining how awful all of these grocery stores are and how this destroys any goodwill I’ve put out in the world for the store’s lack of ethical, social, and eco ethos.
Instead of focusing on being perfect, I want to focus on making sure low waste options are accessible to everyone. Not everyone has a health food store in their town.
This blog is NOT about being perfect. This is NOT a place for judgment. As Meredith says, I am not trying to win zero waste. This is NOT a competition.
This is about doing the best you can, where you are and sometimes that’s Walmart or Target.
I want the zero waste movement to grow far and wide. I want everyone in the world involved, and it’s important we don’t limit zero waste to only those who have access. We shouldn’t limit it to only those who are perfect. Everyone can make a difference.
Everyone can make better choices. So, I want to show you some of the better choices when it comes to Target.
**steps off soap box**
my grocery store is closing:
I started this challenge when I realized my local grocery store is closing. The only grocery stores I have in town are bargain markets like Smart and Final, Grocery Outlet, Food Maxx and big box stores like Super Target and Walmart.
A lot of these stores lack a large selection of healthy food.
The local grocery store I was going to, Raley’s, had a small bulk section. I now have no local offering in bulk, and I officially live in a food swamp.
“A food swamp is an area where there’s an overabundance of high-energy, low-nutrient foods (read: fast food) compared to healthy food options. Low-income communities are usually the swampiest, with nearly twice the number of fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier neighborhoods.”
I am so grateful for our farmers market where I buy the large selection of fresh produce that is year round. I completely realize how fortunate I am.
A lot of folks don’t have it as good as I do, so for that, I feel very fortunate and blessed. Our community is also working on opening up a co-op which will fill a huge void in our city.
If your city is also missing wholesome, good food, you might be the solution. Maybe it’s your job to fill the void. Don’t be afraid of starting a co-op! A lot of co-ops start out of people’s garages. Go in with some neighbors to get large quantities of good whole food delivered to your door.
what I bought at target:
Please check out what I bought and why I bought it. I did supplement with my farmers market haul this week because the produce section was severely lacking!!
At target I spent $80. Which is WAY more than I normally spend at the bulk store when I stock up on dry goods, but I did buy a lot of specialty items I don’t normally buy.
With all of these groceries I plan on making nachos, hummus, veggie burgers. PB&J, grilled cheese, chocolate chip cookies, veggie lasagna, pancakes, summer salads, and oatmeal.
other things I found at target:
I hope you enjoyed this zero waste challenge.
I will be keeping track of ALL the recycling, trash, and dry compostables (paper, not food scraps) throughout this challenge.
Next month I’ll be taking you to Grocery Outlet. Let know if you have any tips!