I'm big on milestones. New Year's for reflecting and prioritizing, spring for weeding and cleaning out clutter (both literally and metaphorically).
So with April being Earth Month, it seemed a good time to look for ways to move the needle a bit on the carbon footprint front. I'm trying to ride my bike into town more instead of hopping in the car. I just built a new compost bin (we'll see if I can keep a few worms alive this time!). And I was psyched to get an e-mail from Ashley at the Bulk is Green Council reminding me how buying from the bulk bins significantly cuts down on packaging waste.
If you've ever been in a grocery store with me, you know how very much I love the bulk bins. The variety! The beauty! The BARGAINS! It can get a bit embarrassing. But really truly, the bulk bins are a treasure trove, and an easy, dare-I-say enjoyable way to shave a good bit off your eco-impact.
Did you know that if all Americans bought their almonds from the bulk bins (instead of in packages) for ONE WEEK, we would save 1,500,000 pounds of waste from the landfills?
If you're intimidated by the bulk bins, I hear you. At first, I found it tedious filling up the bags and writing those little tags. But now I've got it down to a rhythm.
First, I'm careful to get just what I need, so I'm not overwhelmed with all sorts of random extras later. Then when I write the bulk bin number on the tag, I also write what, exactly, I'm putting in the bag, along with any cooking directions that come along with it. That way I don't find a bag of sandy colored nubbins two months from now and wonder whether they're couscous or bulgur, or get home with my barley and have to look up how much liquid to use and how long to cook it.
If you're new to shopping the bulk bins, you may be surprised by the huge variety. You'll likely find half the ingredients for this recipe–all the spices, the chickpeas, the dates–in the bulk bins, for instance.
Get adventurous this week and take a spin down the bulk aisle … you know it's where I'll be hanging out on Earth Day!