Zero-Waste Farmer's Market

The farmer's market is church for our family.  On Sundays we enjoy waking up slow, making a pot of coffee, eating a light breakfast (to save room for fruit samples at the market) and heading to the farmer's market before the sourdough bread is sold out.  I covet these Sunday mornings with my family and love our Sunday rhythm.  This year, I have started focusing on sustainability so naturally, all of my shopping habits have shifted.  Rather than utilize the free single-use plastics at the market, I am well-prepared with a variety of bags to fit each offering.  This is somewhat new to our family but now that I am paying attention, I am hyper aware of how many people take home their beautiful vegetables in plastic.  Without passing judgement, I want to share my process and some of the items that I enjoy using with hopes that I will inspire others to use less plastic.  Plus, reusable bags and baskets just make everything more cute.  My process has been gradual, only recently getting the final pieces to the puzzle and now it feels great to welcome the nourishing offerings into our home, sans plastic.  This is one big piece of my sustainability mission, to use less plastic when I shop.   

At this point most of us have accumulated some version of a reusable shopping bag and this is a great place to start.  I keep the freebies in the car and will use these in a pinch, but I really enjoy well-made baskets for my weekend hauls.  I have accumulated quite the collection and after much use, my favorite is my tightly woven African Basket.  If you're in the market, here is a good one.  They also usually sell at larger farmer's markets or flea markets.  After I felt I had the necessary amount of baskets, I started researching sustainable bag companies and love these bags by Chico Bags for my leafy greens and bulk grains.  These keep my greens fresh in the fridge and I love the neutral color.  Next I grabbed these cute net bags by Simple Ecology, which are great for my loose items.  I love the variety pack which serves all of my market needs.  These are a great way to keep your items grouped together, which never used to happen!  Recently I have started taking my own container for berries.  This allows the berry stand to keep their containers and helps me transport without squishing any of my precious little beauties.  I use an old tupperware and recommend using any light-weight container that will fit your desired purchase amount.  Finding a way to bring bread home without a plastic bag has been tough since all sliced bread is sold in a plastic bag.  My husband loves a good loaf and doesn't think my slicing is up to par so the few attempts I have made at bringing home a whole loaf and slicing myself have not gone well.  I still think it's work it to try, even if it's only half of the time, that is two bags we save a month.  I recently grabbed these linen bread bags for our whole loafs and recommend also having a bread box to ensure freshness.  The final item needed for a zero-waste mission is a reusable egg container.  I just picked up two of these and take one to the market while the other houses any of the remaining eggs we have from the week prior.  When I remember to bring all of my containers, I leave the farmer's market without any plastic, it's super easy and if we all started making these small switches, it would have a huge positive impact on the environment.  

Did I miss any good items?  Tell me in the comments below...