Shopping made not so simple

The downsizing and decluttering continues. My kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe has about 50% less than before. While I am going zero waste, it is a slow process because I don’t want to just throw things out like food, products or containers immediately because they are all packaged in plastic. And of course I still have a garbage, which I am waiting to fill completely to the top and hoping to just have this one and maybe one more before a garbage can is no longer necessary.

I have a 2 bedroom apartment and thought I was already minimal. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to do this if I lived in a house. With a basement. And a garage. I’ll be honest though, giving away all of this stuff, it feels fantastic.

Yesterday I did do a little shopping, which prior to it, I was a nervous wreck thinking of what I was going to buy that wasn’t in packaging. Anyway, I walked into Rainbow Foods (Britannia) and asked if they allowed people to bring in their own containers and they said YES! I was so relieved because it’s so close to my place. Bulk Barn doesn’t let you and The Farm Boy doesn’t let you and it made me sad. Yes Farm Boy does have great produce which is unpackaged, but the salad bar and deli area, you can’t use your own container. They do offer recycled paper to go containers which is better than nothing, but the goal is to try to not have any waste even if it is recyclable.

That basically means making everything yourself is the way to go.

a dream lived greener
Anyway, my first “conscious shopping” trip I just got almonds, chia seeds and flax seeds in bulk. I was actually only there to buy natural almonds which they didn’t have on the shelf at the time because it was being restocked. I wanted to buy natural almonds so that I could make my own almond milk. We ran out of almond milk (which was in a container) but I found an easy recipe except it takes at least 10 hours to make. I could have waited for the natural almonds to be restocked, but I had a friend waiting for me at my place. My son wanted milk so I bought the only thing they had in a glass jar, which was organic pasteurized goats milk.

(No, I don’t want to hear anything about what kind of milk we should be drinking, we normally drink almond milk. Period.)

I’ve been pretty much cleaning out my fridge and cupboards before buying groceries and literally using everything I have but I’ll be going out tomorrow to do some more grocery shopping with my new reusable bags Brandi made me. I’ll be sure to tell the cashier I don’t want a receipt.

Here are two places in Ottawa that allow you to bring your own containers. Oh, and Benji’s a  Vietnamese restaurant near Ikea is a good place to go to eat. They only use cloth napkins and don’t give you a plastic straw. Not sure what they do about coffee or tea though if you want milk and sugar. It’s most likely packaged. Maybe you should just bring your own?

If you know of any others, especially deli for cheese or meat, comment below, we’d love your suggestions!


– Dream Greener

Published by Mailyne

Owner of DLG Media. Founder of A.R.T. in Action. Philanthropist. Environmentalist. Activist. Photographer. Video Producer. Writer. Artist. Mama.

4 thoughts on “Shopping made not so simple

  1. Glad I stumbled onto your blog … I live in Ottawa and our family has embarked on this project too! We are a family of five – my husband, myself and three boys (10, 8 and 4). So far, it has been an interesting experience though frustrating at times. The kids are onboard and receptive to all the changes we have made 🙂 I am glad to know there are others in Ottawa doing the same thing … I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    1. Rose!

      Thank you for commenting. I feel great to know that there is someone else in Ottawa doing this too! If you want to ever connect and share stories or tips you’ve found, I’m on Facebook (A Dream Lived Greener) and you can message me there as well :).

  2. I’m late in the game, but Adonis in Gatineau lets you bring your own containers for pretty much everything that is in bulk (nuts, cheeses, olives, cold cuts, meat, fish, prepared-food, pastries, etc). And Bulk barn now lets us use out containers.

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