You may have come across some unusual-looking grocery stores and supermarkets in your neighborhood. Lined with drums or dispensers of grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits cereals, or spices, these certainly don’t look anything like your average convenience store. Welcome to the world of bulk shopping!
Bulk shopping stores don’t offer typical food packaging. Instead, they place the responsibility on us as consumers to bring our own, much to the benefit of the environment. These stores are becoming a key player in the ecosystem of ethical shopping. They bring awareness to the waste and packaging that remains a dilemma for larger supermarkets.
So, what are the benefits of choosing a bulk shopping store?
1. Take what you need
Unlike supermarkets, bulk food stores let you measure out and purchase the exact quantities you need. This can help us as consumers to reduce food waste while removing the need for excessive and unnecessary packaging.
When shopping, we often accept that the quantities that we’re sold and base our choices and lifestyle around this. Once given the choice to take only what we need, this can radically impact our consumption for a more conscious shopping experience. When heading out to the bulk shopping store, come prepared with glass jars, reusable mesh bags, and other eco-friendly bags suitable for loose grains and ingredients.
2. Reduce Empty Miles
Empty miles refer to the distances traveled by vehicles where fuel, money, and time are wasted. By removing the need for individual packaging per food item, less transport is needed and the production components that would have been necessary are removed from the supply chain.
This can also help reduce journeys on trucks as unpackaged goods can be densely stored and transported than individually wrapped goods, making for a more efficient and green sequence of delivery.
3. Friendlier to the Environment, and to your wallet
Bulk food shopping is an effective agent in lowering your environmental impact and can help you to save money in the process.
For each purchase of packaged goods, charges are included to cover the packaging and branding. Removing this element means that you pay for the goods alone without the extra cost. In some cases, if the cost is not lower, you can at least rest assured that your money is supporting a local, sustainable alternative rather than a supermarket that promotes mass or irresponsible consumption.
4. Doing things the old fashioned way
Whether learning to sew and mend, cook from scratch or make your own homemade goods, there is much more awareness now around the need to hold on to older, traditional concepts that can complement modern-day life.
Avoiding processed foods and choosing simple, wholesome alternatives is a great way to get back to basics. It also encourages us to try cooking and experimenting with new recipes rather than microwaving and buying ready-made options. In this view, bulk food shopping can help nudge you into a healthier way of eating.
5. Make shopping great again
It’s hard to purchase and consume these days without feeling the pang of guilt from knowing that somewhere along the way, your goods may not have been the most sustainable. Bulk food shopping can not only help you shop with the assurance of a clean conscience, but it can also be a fun experience.
It’s not often we get to be as interactive with the food that we buy. Bulk shopping gives you a chance to ask more questions and take a closer look at what you’re putting into your body.