You may already be reducing your use of single use plastic bags by bringing your reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. You can further reduce the amount of plastic packaging that you purchase by buying from the bulk aisle. Bring your own bags and bottles to stock up on spices, pasta, dried beans, nuts, granola, oatmeal, rice, and other grains. Reuse the bags each time you make a bulk purchase or invest in cloth or mesh bags for this purpose. Another advantage of buying in bulk is that you can buy just the quantity that you need, so it allows you to reduce food waste. Spices in particular are less expensive bought in bulk, particularly because you can just get the quantity that you need. They may also be fresher, as they can sit in the bottles for a long time before being sold. A number of stores in our area offer a selection of bulk foods including the Swarthmore Food Co-op, Martindale’s in Springfield, and the Giant Food on Sproul Rd. in Springfield. Eliminate the packaging for spices at the Swarthmore Food Co-op by bringing your own bottle or container and ask the cashier to get a tare weight.
Photo by Susan O'Donnell