Zero Waste Shopping: Fort Wayne

51rgariiuqlHey folks! Welcome to my first post about shifting our household to as close to zero waste as possible. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile, but reading the book Zero Waste Home finally gave me the motivation I needed to start. I decided to share my journey on my blog because I hope the information I provide will make it easy for you to go zero waste in whatever way you choose. I’m also hoping you’ll help me out. If you find a package free item in Fort Wayne that I can’t find, please tell me about it! Are you a producer of package free products and would be interested in trading and bartering? Let’s chat!

So the first and easiest step to zero waste shopping is reusable bags. Everyone can do this at every store. Do you come home with all your produce in their own plastic bag that are then carried in another, bigger plastic bag? Those single use bags can’t be tossed in the Fort Wayne recycling bins, but they are so easily replaced with tote bags and cotton muslin bags. I have so many tote bags that I’ve acquired for free over the years. If you don’t have them already, they’re easily found in stores or online. I purchased a pack of 12 cotton muslin bags for easy bulk and produce shopping. Click here for the link to what I bought.

To evaluate how a store scores on a zero waste scale, I’ve created a rubric. Here are the basic things I consider important:

  • Bulk Bins with a variety of options. Must. Have. Coffee! (1 point)
  • Refill stations for oils, vinegars, honey, nut butters, etc. (1 point)
  • Bulk dried herbs and spices. (1 point)
  • Most produce is available without packaging. (1 point)
  • Bread without packaging. (1 point)
  • Meat without packaging (1 point)
  • Cheese without packaging. (1 point)
  • Hygiene products without packaging. (1 point)
  • Unavoidable packaging that can be brought back and reused (i.e. egg cartons). (1 point)
  • Positive experience using my own bags and/or containers. (1 point)

Bonus Point: Toddler friendly. I usually have to bring the boys with me and being able to get through with them unscathed and me sane is vital.

Other considerations for the eco-conscious crowd:
– Ability to safely walk or bike to location.
– Locally sourced products
– Is the business dedicated to eco-friendly practices?

Fort Wayne Stores

  • Walmart: Click here for my analysis
  • Fresh Thyme: TBD
  • Kroger/Scott’s: TBD
  • Three Rivers Co-op: TBD
  • Fresh Market: TBD
  • Meijer: TBD



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