Zero Waste Shopping Tips During a Pandemic [or other Emergencies]

First and foremost YOUR safety is the most important thing.
Not only your physical health, but also your mental health.
Online strangers in Zero Waste groups may say differently.
Rest assured, compassionate people will understand that some people may face challenges.

Shopping Bags and Checking Out
I personally prefer self checkouts.
I always preferred to use self check out as I hate small talk and I like to pack my own groceries. All those years of Tetris have paid off.
Right now, it limits how close and how long I need to be around people.
It allows me to use my own bags as some stores aren’t allowing you to use your own shopping bags. The ones that do let you use them at a regular check out make you pack your own bags. I prefer to save my time and just use the self checkout.
When I get home, I wipe off and clean my bags.
An alternative… they may even just let you put all the items back in your cart without a bag. This would require showing a receipt, which many people are saying not to accept.

shopping bags

If you end up with having to use plastic bags… Don’t feel too bad.
You can use them as trash bags around the house.
Use them to collect your dog’s poop on walks, or give them to someone with a dog. Take them on your nature walks to collect litter. Use them to stuff your shoes when you store them.
When the world gets back to normal you can go back to refusing the bags.
In my city, shopping bags are recyclable.

Grocery Items
Items in the grocery store can be limited right now.
I know we have had to make last minute changes to our meal plans and shopping lists. Some bigger stores that offer bulk items are not allowing you to use your own containers. Bulk Barn is not allowing your personal containers, and for safety reasons are only allowing associates to get your items. This means you end up with plastic bags. These bags could be reused and repurposed. One local store, MultiServices Vert (which I call the milk store) still allows your personal containers. If you can, check out businesses online. Call or email them to see what their polices are. It’s always better to choose local stores over large national chain stores. But at this time, YOUR survival and mental well being is the most important!

As you’re selecting items go for those with the least packaging.
Choose glass or cardboard over plastic.
If you have to get plastic, try to make sure it’s recyclable in your area or try to reuse it.
Feeding your family is the goal.

Learn How To Make It
If you’re having trouble finding items you want, in the packing you want … you can always try and make it yourself! Recipes can be found for almost everything online.
Since we’re all supposed to be staying at home, take the time to learn how to make your favourite items. Have some fruit that isn’t going to be eaten in a timely manner? Look up a recipe for a cobbler or bread.
Some basics to try and keep on hand:
– all purpose flour
– baking powder
– salt
– sugar
– eggs or applesauce to replace the eggs
– vanilla

Don’t beat yourself up.
No one is perfect.
Do the best you can and keep trying to reduce your impact!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms with a Green-ish Thumb that they are SURE to love!

Mother’s Day is pretty much around the corner.
Being a Mom, I thought I would share some of the things that I would be excited to get. This list is essentially a snippet from my wish list.

Plants can help create a sense of well being and help lower stress levels.
Plants can also improve indoor air quality.
And they’re pretty.

Nature’s Blossom Sow & Grow Kits

This “sow and grow” seed starter kit by Nature’s Blossom has everything you need to grow succulents and cacti. This is right up my alley as I often forget to water my plants.

This one is totally inspired by my husband, Andy.
We ere looking up bonsai trees and I found this sow and grow bonsai tree seed starter kit on Amazon. The reviews mentioned needing different pots for the bonsai trees and I fell in love with this set.

Succulent Pots

Succulent Terrariums

Plant Hangers

Mini Plant Stand

This mini plant stand comes with tiny tools.
Ideally, I would love to have a couple of these to add to my bookshelf.
This little shelf would maximise the number of succulents I could display and give me a reason to invest in more adorable little pots and planters.

Vintage Style Plant Spritzer

To be honest, this beautiful vintage style plant spritzer would be added to my plant shelf just for the aesthetic.
I have read online that misting and spritzing plants can lead to shallow and unhealthy roots. I would use it when we started seeds, so it would get some use. I would love to find an actual antique plant spritzer, but I have never found one “in the wild”.

Glass Watering Birds

These glass self watering bird shaped globes wouldn’t be used for my succulents, but for my other plants. They would come in handy outside in the summer.

I feel like I should add a side note.
If you notice, these are all amazon links.
I am not an affiliate. I happen to do a lot of “window shopping” on amazon and use it for product comparison and reviews.
I encourage you, if you can, please support local stores.
Especially during this time.
But do it SAFELY!
Right now, in Quebec we are under pretty strict social/physical distancing measures. I’m not overly familiar with my part of the city and many businesses are not online — I know, crazy!
I am looking forward to hitting up the thrift shops and finding funky little planters … and who knows, maybe I can find a genuine vintage spritzer.