One unintentional side effect of zero waste was that I started eating healthier. I began the zero waste process while in college to be more environmentally-conscious, and to save money. My school (University of California Santa Cruz) even had a small co-op on campus with some bulk food options, including pasta! And buying bulk food was considerably less expensive than buying lesser amounts of food in packaging.
But some foods were simply not available in bulk. Like potato chips, which are admittedly one of my favorite snack foods (chocolate when I’m sad, chips when I’m bad).
Determined not to buy packaging, I skipped the chips and munched on almonds, or trail mix, the occasional bulk bagel chip, or whatever other crunchy snack was package-free…. and consequently they were usually always relatively healthier than chips, cookies, or all the other junk food I thrived on.
This also meant eating a lot more fruits and vegetables, as loose produce is usually always an option in some form. Although I have been to stores (@traderjoes) where almost every single item is packaged.
Don’t be put off by the idea that zero waste is just for the privileged. That’s not how it should be, and it’s unfortunate that zero waste is more of a fashion statement to some people than an issue of sustainability. Done properly, zero waste should save you money.
And I want to help you reach that point. Let me know if you have questions.
Full disclosure: I did learn how to make potato chips in a microwave. They’re not quite as good as the staple Cape Cod Chip, and it’s certainly not healthy, but they’re tasty and package-free. If anyone wants that recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll make a post about it ASAP.