Earth Day: Buying in Bulk

15 Apr

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I have a confession to make: It took me a long time to understand the appeal of buying in bulk. Buying in bulk conjured up memories of shopping with my family at whole sale stores as a child, where the food was highly processed, poor in quality, and didn’t necessarily scale down the packaging. Plus, I usually got sick of eating the food long before we made a dent in our supply of it. Even when I saw more appealing food being sold in bulk I still didn’t get it. If I was still pouring my bulk items into a bag to take home, I wasn’t reducing the amount of plastic packaging in the world, so why bother?

I’m too embarrassed to reveal exactly how long it was before I had this simple revelation that changed my whole outlook. What I finally realized was this: You can bring your own container to the store to buy bulk products. It’s glaringly obvious, but I admit that I felt a bit like Archimedes springing from the bathtub shouting “Eureka!” when I finally got it.

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Now I buy a lot of stuff in bulk. I show up at the store armed with a variety of bags and reusable containers. The only hassle of buying in bulk is that you have to go to the register first to have them tare your containers. They weigh the containers, and when you pay they subtract that weight so you only pay for the actual weight of what you are buying.

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I’m lucky to have a fantastic store near me that carries a lot of bulk items including soap, shampoos, and conditioners. You can also find a number of bulk items at Whole Foods. A simple google search for “bulk grocery” and your location will likely turn up a few options. And of course there’s an app for that.

I like buying in bulk simply because it reduces the amount of plastic packaging floating around in the world, but it can sometimes (not always) be a money saver as well.

Happy shopping!

~Robin

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3 Responses to “Earth Day: Buying in Bulk”

  1. Mara April 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    As always, I appreciate the simplicity of your posts. I think that “discovering” things is all part of how we grow up (and how it is related to how we “grew up.”). Similarly, I “discovered” a lot about different ways to live when I arrived at “YI” which is not the same, yet some elements remain constant. Thanks again, Robin

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Earth Day: In the Cloud | Without a Map - April 22, 2014

    […] cuts energy consumption by up to 87%.  This makes sense when you take into consideration that, like buying in bulk, it’s often easier to streamline energy savings in a fewer large-scale operation rather than […]

  2. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] Weekend Images April 13, Earth Day: Weekend Images April 14, Earth Day: Every Last Drop April 15, Earth Day: Buying in Bulk April 16, Earth Day: UGH! April 18, Earth Day: Go Camp April 18, Earth Day: Foraged Food April 19, […]

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