If you’re on the road to living more sustainably and reducing your waste you might want to think about purchasing as many dry goods as possible from the bulk bins at your local health food store. So much is available in these bins – grains, beans, nuts and seeds, flours and dried fruits, granola and coffee.
One problem however – many health food stores that have bulk bins give you plastic bags to put the stuff into. Ummmmm, what’s up with that? That’s really not better than buying the stuff in the plastic bag on the shelf.
So, if you’re going to purchase from the bulk bins, which I highly recommend, you’re going to need a few other items to make this work in the most sustainable manner possible.
First – get yourself some organic cotton/muslin bags (not the net ones).
There are a variety of vendors for these. Two that I like are:
Please note that you don’t want the mesh bags for your bulk bin items, the stuff will fall right through them. (I tried to put walnuts in the mesh bags once thinking the walnuts were bigger than the holes in the bags. Well, they were, but they have all this dusty stuff on them which made quite a mess!)
Also, these bags have drawstring closures. They will not completely close on top. Stuff will fall out (there’s a reason I know this). So – don’t fill these bags completely to the top and use the tie the store gives you to close the plastic bag that you’re not using to tie up this bag. I have to find a solution for these ties since they are not recyclable or compostable. Rubberbands maybe? I have plenty of those. But then I have to figure out where to write the code for the stuff I’m buying.
So, you did a great job of purchasing your dry goods in bulk. You get home and what are you going to do with all these unlabeled bags of stuff?
You need glass jars to put them in. See if you can find them on the cheap first. Years ago I got a number of glass jars for storage from a friend whose parents owned a deli. Pickles came in them. I had to air them out a bit first though. I wonder if delis still get anything in glass jars? You can search thrift stores and then if you must – purchase them. I got a few wonderful glass containers in various sizes from Ikea a few years ago that I absolutely love because they have glass tops also and seal tightly (yes, with plastic inside the lid, damn it!)
And Costco might be just the place you can get a case of glass jars cheap! Now that would be good. 😉