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Zero-Waste Stores

In today’s feature on Project B, let’s talk about groceries. Forty percent of all plastics that are produced are single-use plastics. The food industry has a large role to play in this contribution to landfills. We would like to offer some insights and alternatives on how and why we could all contribute to reducing that. Here in Belgium, ‘Mei Plasticvrij’ is right around the corner. There might not be a better time to introduce you to some of Brussels’ finest.

Why zero waste?

Before convincing you to drop everything and go get a set of cloth bags to put your produce in, let us talk about zero waste and mindful consuming. It is important to be aware that zero waste might save money in the long run but is not always achievable for everyone. Local and fair consumption sometimes comes at a price not everyone is able to afford. However, it is getting more and more accessible to go zero waste for groceries and produce, as we also suggest some of Brussels’ spots to go to below. It is also important to be mindful of the bigger picture. It is often about the whole cycle, about trying to be mindful about how you get to that zero waste store. Are you able to get there by public transport or are you taking your car to the other side of the city? All those things are things people can be mindful of. However, do not get discouraged by the overwhelming amount of do’s and don’ts on the internet or even in this article. Every effort made, is a step in the right direction, but towards less waste in a practical sense, but also in terms of mindset.

Where to go in Brussels?

Marché de la Glacière & Alimentation Géniale in Saint-Gilles

They have been working together with their suppliers at local farms for over eight years. They are proud to know every single one of them, as they have all found and seen them themselves. In 2020 they even started their own location where they grow some of their own produce in our very own Saint-Gilles. Come over and taste the freshness yourself.

Färm in over 10 locations in Brussels (Ixelles, Oudergem, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert…)

Whilst mainly focusing on the bio aspect and label on all aspects of the consumption cycle. The Färm group is very involved in making your grocery trip a conscious decision. Zero-waste is not just about avoiding single use plastic and putting everything in a cute glass container. For zero-waste to have a large impact, it must be widespread. With over ten stores in Brussels, they try to make this accessible to a large group of people.

Roots Store in Schaerbeek, near Cinquantenaire Park

Xavier and Tim have been welcoming you in Roots since 2017 and are very passionate about circular economy. They value the relationship they hold with suppliers and how that chain is physically as short as possible. They see zero waste shopping as the way to go to take charge of your overall health. Mindful consuming both how and what, is what matters to them.

Tips & Tricks

Make no mistake, some alternatives are easier to swap than others and it can be a luxury to be able to do so. Nevertheless, a change of mindset might be all you need and by offering you a range of options to pick from, we might come one step closer to reducing some of the waste that ends up in landfill. Hoping you can pick up a thing or two from our suggestions that are not your average paper straws and cloth bags for produce.

10 tips that will not break the bank…

  1. Freeze your leftovers in glass jars from sauces or condiments instead of zip lock bags.

  2. Buy those lonely bananas instead of the bunch.

  3. Do not go grocery shopping when hungry, that is when those purchases are made that go to waste.

  4. If you have a garden or balcony, collect rainwater for your house plants.

  5. Go paperless for all your bills and contracts.

  6. Go for loose leaf tea and a reusable strainer instead of tea bags.

  7. Look into beeswax wrap instead of clingfilm.

  8. Try buying in bulk where possible.

  9. Say no to single use tableware when ordering take-out.

  10. Look into reusable capsules for your coffee machine.

Overall, try to be mindful, the most zero-waste purchases you make are the ones you do not make. Being aware of your consumption is the key to living more sustainably.

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