It's so nice to see that there are more and more bulk shops. Nevertheless, not everyone always has such a shop nearby. Depending on the store and the product, it can also be quite expensive. But if you can, you should definitely support these shops: because prices can only be reduced in the long term if demand increases ;)
We have put together a few tips for you that you can use to shop more sustainably even if you don’t have to shop in bulk.
See if there are farmers or small businesses in the region that sell directly from production. Or maybe there's a weekly market near you.
Products in farm shops are often cheaper than products on the market. Because the producers do not have to pay any stand rent and save themselves the journey. There are various websites with directories, a quick search is worthwhile!
In addition to farmers, there are also fields or trees where you can pick yourself. Plan in advance which dishes you want to make from them. Preserve the vegetables and fruits by drying, freezing or canning. You can freeze herbs in oil or dry them.
The great thing about direct purchase: You automatically buy regional and seasonal products. You can also speak directly to the producers and find out what standards are used in production. Because just because a farmer does not have an organic certificate does not necessarily mean that he does not produce organic quality. The problem with labels is that they are expensive and certain companies can only afford 1 or none.
What is also underestimated: Buying bread from the bakery again. Yes yes, it is already possible to buy practically everything in one place. But let's be honest, for many of us the bakery is only a few meters further away than the supermarket. So: grab your cloth bag and take a little walk for real, fresh bread ;) Just don't forget to ask if it's vegan. You rarely find a vegan label in the village bakery :)
There are also various food rescue groups on Facebook. If you are active and keep your eyes open, you can make really cool bargains.
Shopping in the classic supermarket
If you are a creature of habit or don't have the time to go to many different shops, you can also make your supermarket shopping more sustainable.
- Make a shopping list to avoid short-term purchases and food waste.
- The more you cook yourself, the less packaging there is. Heavily processed foods are usually wrapped in plastic.
- Shop regionally and seasonally whenever possible.
- Bring your own shopping bag and vegetable nets .
- Buy open-faced products or products wrapped in paper whenever possible.
- No paper? Then maybe there are cans or glasses.
- Buy the largest possible packs if the product has a long shelf life and there is no food waste.
- For example, when buying bananas, buy the individual pieces or the brown specimens, these tend to be left lying around and thrown away. Are you going to bake a cake with the apples anyway? Don't take the prettiest. Crooked carrots also taste good. Etc. I think you understand the principle :)
- If possible, go shopping by bike or on foot.
Shopping for groceries online doesn't necessarily have the best reputation. But it depends a lot on what and how often you shop.
If you can buy large quantities online and then store them, it is more sustainable than repeatedly buying small packs in the supermarket.
It is therefore not advisable to make a small purchase online every week if you can also find the products in the supermarket. But for large quantities or very specific products, it makes perfect sense.
If you have a garden or balcony, you can easily plant vegetables, herbs and berries. A window sill is enough for certain plants. Any plant that you grow yourself does not need to be transported. In addition, you know exactly what quality the plant has. So you don't have to worry about pesticides or anything like that.
Simple plants include peppermint, lemon balm, strawberries, raspberries, Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, and flowers. Yes, flowers are great too, some of them you can eat too :)
Something grows in almost every season. Even in autumn you can still sow things like spinach, lamb's lettuce or winter cress (and many more!).
I recommend sowing the plants and not buying any plant (except berries). Especially peppermint or basil from the supermarket is highly cultivated and is not very easy to care for.
Tip: If you have nice neighbors, parents or grandparents with a garden, get small cuttings from there.
Collect wild berries and herbs
Depending on the season, there are many wild herbs and berries. If you know a plant well, you can collect it in the forest or on meadows without any problems. It is important not to enter private land (including farmer's fields) and to respect nature. So don't harvest plants completely, leaving enough for insects, birds and other animals and for the plant to survive.
Do not pick plants from the roadside or from places where dogs or other animals are doing their business ;) Make sure that no manure or pesticides have been used.
Don't harvest a plant you are unsure about: many plants have a poisonous twin...
We hope that these tips will help you :) And we hope that many more bulk stores will open and that the large supermarket chains will expand their range of open sales. Until then, remember: Every purchase is your personal ballot. So what are you voting for this week?