Congratulations on making it through January! How are your resolutions coming? Close to a month into the new year is a great time to check in and (re)evaluate.
By now you’ve probably heard about the Zero Waste movement sweeping the nation. It’s all about creating as little waste as possible in order to decrease our footprint on the planet. Since 1960, the per capita generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) has more than doubled¹. While recycling and composting have increased, this still doesn’t solve our country’s problem of what to do with all of this waste that we’re creating.
One of the biggest culprits of waste in our culture is food (and the packaging that comes with it). “In looking at what ends up in landfills, the EPA found that food waste is the largest component of the waste stream. Overall, food waste accounts for more than 20 percent of the 136 million tons that went to landfill in 2014. The next biggest components were plastics and paper and paperboard.”¹
Here at the Co-op, we take this problem to heart and have been offering a solution for years. Co-ops were the original suppliers of zero waste options when most of them started up in the 70’s.
Our founding members knew, even then, that our per capita generation of MSW was a problem. Your Food Co-op has, and will continue to, offer over 200 products in our bulk department, despite the national trend of less cooking in the home and the monumental decrease in bulk sales in our store in the last five years.² It is part of who we are and what we believe in.
So, now you want to join the cause and DO SOMETHING about this ever increasing problem that we’re facing. Here are some of the many benefits of shopping in bulk (besides saving the planet):
Saving money — Buying natural and organic foods in the bulk section of the grocery store offers an average savings of 30 percent and 50 percent versus packaged food.
Reducing food waste — Buying in bulk allows shoppers to make smarter decisions, by purchasing the exact amount of foods they need, as opposed to purchasing consumer packaged goods with a pre-determined amount that may not get used before its expiration date.
Flexibility to buy a pinch or a pound — Buying in bulk offers a broad selection of natural and organic products that can be purchased in the exact quantity desired. If shoppers need a large quantity of nuts for a holiday party or just a pinch of curry powder for a new recipe — bulk foods provide both options.³
Another fun benefit of buying in bulk is beautifying your kitchen! Instead of having to purchase whatever container the company decides to use, you can choose your own containers! Your kitchen cabinets will be the envy of everyone who joins you for dinner (that you made using bulk ingredients)!
The question remains: How do I actually shop in bulk? Let us show you with this adorable infographic that we’ve created!
Now you’re itching to find some cool containers and make the switch to shopping in bulk! Let us be the first to share in your newfound excitement and welcome you with open arms to our AWESOME bulk section! You’ll find our bulk grains, beans, pastas, nuts, oils, extracts, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, lotions, massage oils, herbs and spices in the back section of our looooong store (did you know that our front door is on East Mountain and our back door is on Walnut?!). We’d love, more than anything, to give you an in depth tour and tutorial of one of Fort Collins’ hidden treasures.
Cheers to you, and our planet!