- Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk helps prevent waste. Split the food into re-usable jars and containers at home instead of buying single-serve multi-packs of things like chips, nuts, crackers and yoghurt. Some stores will even allow you to fill your own containers – which means you shop waste-free.
- Choose reusable over single-use
Reusing items helps prevent single-use plastics growing our landfill and polluting our land and oceans. Invest in reusable items like a water bottle, shopping bags, metal or bamboo straws. Try reusing glass jars as storage jars or for making your own jams & pickles. For a great gift idea, buy a ‘keep cup’ for your daily coffee fix or beeswax wraps to replace cling film.
- Buy items with the least packaging
Buy items free from unnecessary packaging. It’s a great way to reduce your waste, as many items are packaged for convenience and presentation. Fruits and vegetables are a good example – if there is an unwrapped option, choose that one. If not, check if the packaging can be recycled or composted at home.
- Choose recycled content
While recycling products and packaging after use is an essential part of reducing waste, the other part of the recycling equation is buying items made from recycled materials. This helps ensure supply and demand for recycled materials, which means recycling systems remain sustainable over time. Buying from your local op shops also reverses fast fashion.
- Get Growing & Composting
Try growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. It’s a great way to avoid packaging waste and greenhouse gas emissions from transport. Local farmers markets are another good option – just remember to bring along your own reusable shopping and produce bags.
Building or purchasing a compost bin is a great way to recycle food waste and build up the soil quality in your garden.
For helpful composting tips, visit Zero Waste organisation Para Kore. Or to discover other ways to reduce your food waste, check out Love Food Hate Waste NZ.
5 tips to reduce waste by shopping smarter
Last modified: July 30, 2019