Zero Waste Grocery Shopping in Montreal
A Feature on Épiceries Loco | Changing the way we live and eat
There are many things we can do in our homes and daily lives to minimize our impact on the environment. But it’s all a drop in a very large bucket. The fact is, corporations are some of the largest polluters on this earth of ours.
How can each make our own drop in the bucket much bigger? By influencing industry to make real changes. We impart that influence by making conscious choices about where and how we spend our money. After all, dollars and cents truly are the bottom line for most businesses.
Packaging puts a huge stress on our planet. Sourcing raw materials, processing them, manufacturing the finished product and then, of course, the waste when the product inside is used up… it all requires large amounts of resources and energy. Even recyclables are not without impact. There’s producing the packaging in the first place, as well as the energy required to recycle it and create something new.
The thing is, you never actually needed that packaging in the first place.
Zero-waste grocery shopping options have been gaining more and more popularity recently. Of course, it isn’t completely zero-waste. It’s more like zero-consumer-packaging. How it works is, you bring in your own reusable containers to the store to have them filled up with different foodstuffs and other products. Since you pay by weight, your containers are weighed first when empty in order to deduct that amount from the total weight when filled up (i.e. you won’t end up paying for the weight of your own container).
Épiceries LOCO is one such store. As a bonus, everything in LOCO is organic.
Think dry goods like Bulk Barn (dried fruit, grains, flours, pasta, etc), but also personal care products like shampoo, detergent and toothpaste. You can also find ingredients for making your own beauty and cleaning products – things like baking soda and vinegar in bulk.
In addition to these nonperishable items, you can also get baked goods (the breads are delicious!), cooking oils, farm fresh eggs, organic fruits and vegetables, and even kombucha on tap!
LOCO is really about making zero-waste as accessible as possible, so they also understand that not everyone has the time to cook from scratch (let alone make your own bathroom cleaner), so you will also find ready-to-eat foods, cooking and baking mixes and an assortment of frozen foods. Because you have a busy life, but you should still be able to eat well and save the planet!
If you don’t already have your own containers, you can also purchase glass jars and cloth bags direct from LOCO.
We’ve shopped at a few different organic and zero-waste stores in and around Montreal, and we’ve found that LOCO is also much less expensive than most. It’s not just the environment that’s saved by using less packaging, it also costs a lot less, and LOCO seems to be passing those savings along to customers.
Sure, packaging is convenient. But it simply isn’t sustainable. And once you get into the habit, bringing your own containers really isn’t that big of a lifestyle change.
It’s time we all start voting with our wallets. Vote for less packaging, for eco-conscious farming, and for real changes in how we all live on this one-and-only planet of ours.
Épiceries LOCO currently has three locations in Brossard, Verdun and Villeray. Swing by and there’s a good chance you’ll find the Montreal Tips team loading up on package-free goodies!
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