Sunday, January 24, 2016

30 Days to Zero Waste (Day 24: Use Containers at the Butcher and Deli)

Yep, there's even a solution to avoiding packaging when buying meat and cheese. To avoid the unnecessary packaging, bring your own containers to the butcher and deli. The employees will put your container on the scale, zero the weight, and weigh your items directly in your container. If they cannot tare the weight, ask them to weigh the product on a piece of paper so that you can compost it later.

Getting your meat and cheese items this way saves so much time! The items don't leak in your bags on the way home and once you get home you don't have to transfer your items into other more durable containers.

Of course, I can't talk about meat consumption without discussing the environmental impacts livestock production has on our planet. Like fashion, livestock production has and is causing unbelievable amounts of damage to the environment through wasteful practices like the over use of antibiotics and air pollution. Choosing a zero waste lifestyle is about lessening our impact, right?

I think it's important that we consider making some changes like reducing our meat consumption. Choose to participate in Meatless Mondays or make some lunches meat free. Not only is consuming less meat beneficial to the environment, it's also beneficial to our health and our wallets. Meat isn't cheap! My husband and I have slowly, over the past year, reduced our meat consumption to a couple days a week and have seen considerable savings and an improvement in our overall health.

Secondly, I think it's important that we support farmers who practice sustainable and ethical meat production. I have found that sourcing meat and dairy from local farmers, results in the best options and supports better practices. If you're unsure, question their sustainability measures. It doesn't hurt. The more we pressure them, the faster they'll change

Day 25: Hankies and Homemade Tissues

Follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook page, where I also have the daily goals, with the hashtag #30daystozerowaste.



  1. Meats at the grocery store are all packaged in plastic and on foam trays it seems. I can recycle the tray only. We do have many farmers in our area that sell so will see what I can change that way. I also have downsized the meat meals here. Often I am fine with a rice dish I make or eggs and toast! More should try meatless meals and save $$$ as well as packaging hopefully!

  2. We have a meat market in the next town over. I will have to see if they will allow me to bring my own containers or they may even wrap their meats in paper. I had been taking my own Bento boxes to the sushi counter at my grocery store. The couple that run it were so excited to see real Japanese Bento boxes and gladly created art in them... until the store manager told them to quit. He said they couldn't be sure that my containers were sterile. Really? I've seen birds and bugs in that store.

  3. Animal agriculture is the biggest cause of climate change. For anyone who cares about the environment and zero-waste, I suggest watching Cowspiracy (it's on Netflix) which shows the environmental impact of animal agriculture, including small-scale farms, which actually use up more resources (land & water). Meat, dairy, and eggs are bad for the environment, our health, and of course, the animals.

    There is no ethical or humane way to kill an animal, so ethical farms do not exist. I grew up on a family farm and the animals were treated well, but they were all killed at only a fraction of their life span - 18 months for cows, 6 months for pigs, 3 months for chickens. Dairy and eggs are not ethical either, and both have a huge environmental impact as well.

    I really like your posts about zero-waste living. It's clear you are passionate about it, and it's great that you have done some research on animal agriculture. If you do a little more, it will become clear that going vegan is the #1 biggest way to lessen our footprint on the planet. (Fast fact: animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector i.e cars, planes, trains.)

    Thank you for all the useful information, and taking the time to make these posts. This planet needs more people to step up and you're helping them to do it (myself included).

    1. Hi Stacey! Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, Cowspiracy is an extremely impactful documentary that inspires immediate change dietary choices - it did in me and my family. When I started Zero Waste I ate a very heavy animal product diet. It's just apart of Midwestern culture - meat and potatoes. But after diving even more into this way of life and doing countless hours of research as well as months of trial and error, my family and I have gone plant based - for our health, for the animals, and for the planet.

      I try to stay as inclusive as possible. Everyone is at their own place in this journey and I hope to remain nonjudgemental and supportive to anyone and everyone who may want to take on the challenge of zero waste. After all, I was a beginner too.

      Thank you for being an advocate for the animals and vegan knowledge because without people like you, I would have struggled with the transition. This article needs to be updated considering the amount of knowledge I've gained since it was written. But I confess, the baby has kept me particularly busy this year. Ha! :) Thank you so much for reading! <3