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Question from Quora: What do you think of the zero waste supermarkets? Will you use them?

See original discussion here.

Image of food in glass jars
Photo by Laura Mitulla on Unsplash

Here is my answer:

I love the mission behind the zero waste supermarkets! And yes, I will support them as much as I can!

If…

  • it’s not too difficult to commute there. This way, it’s more likely that I can commit to shop zero waste more than going to regular stores buying packaged products. Commute is a big deal. For example, I shop at the zero waste grocery store I work at regularly (Scoop Marketplace). I feel I’m more lucky to commit to this more than a lot of people who wish to shop low waste but commuting to a certain store is a pain in the butt. There is also another store with a huge bulk sections not so far from where I live, so it’s not so difficult to go there once in a while. Besides, I’m thankful to the produce section at Uwajimaya (nearby another place I work at) where I can easily buy unpackaged produce using my own bag.
  • it’s not over my budget. If some unpackaged products are way too expensive to buy, I’d rather buy packaged products that I can at least reuse the container or recycle it.

Those are the main points I consider when I try to shop sustainably. If I go out of my way to shop zero waste at a zero waste supermarket every time even though having to spend hours of commute or too much money, I bet I’d give up in a month. That’s not a sustainable way to live a sustainable life. I think living low waste should be a long term goal that everyone try to do what they can and try better. It might not be perfect, but that’s okay. At least you try. It’s always better than trying to be perfectly zero waste for a couple of weeks and fail because you find out it’s too hard to achieve. It’s the struggle of trying to live low waste in the era of capitalism.

Anyway, I hope that’s clear enough. Thanks for your question Tom.

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