The fact is that, just like everyone else, I get lazy. Despite knowing the facts about plastic pollution and having every intention to shake the single-use habit, even I get sucked into the convenience of prepackaged foods at the supermarket. When I'm short on time and it's the end of a long day and I've got a bunch of hungry kids with me, it's easier to toss a bag of lentils or a container of peanut butter into my grocery cart than it is to make an additional trip to a different store that accepts containers I may have forgotten to bring from home.

This got me thinking about how zero waste shopping could be made more accessible and less intimidating to people – because the only way it will become widely accepted is if it's just as (or nearly as) convenient as the current shopping model. So here are some ideas, based on my own brainstorming, experiences, and research. Some are more realistic than others, but at least it's a place to start.

  1. Stores could have designated tare stations. 
  2. Stores could offer sterilized secondhand containers.
  3. Shoppers could receive incentives for using their own containers.
  4. Stores could start their own reusable container programs.
  5. Shoppers could think more about the containers and bags they use.

Read the full article about zero waste shopping by Katherine Martinko at TreeHugger.