Going in to a zero waste or refill shop for the first time can be a little daunting, but after one visit you'll be hooked - planet-friendly, wallet-friendly and fun!
Here are a few tips that might come in handy.
1. Cotton produce bags are a lifesaver.
From experience lugging 10 different glass jars and bottles on public transport isn't fun, so get yourself some cotton produce bags in a few different sizes. You then fill these up with your goodies at the store, and when you get home you can decant them in to a jar, pot, tupperware or just leave them in the bag! Alternatively just choose light containers you already have at home.
2. Plan ahead.
It's true that you will need to do a little forward planning to make sure you have your containers on you when you head to your nearest zero waste or refill shop, but if you choose light containers and produce bags these are easy to stuff in your backpack before you head off for the day. Most zero waste shops do offer brown paper bags if you do forget, but do try to remember your containers next time!
3. Anything goes.
Don't feel like you need to go out and buy fancy containers before zero waste shopping, no shop owners are going to judge you for coming in with evidence of a Friday night thai takeaway habit from a past life. Takeaway containers, your old lunchbox with tomato soup stains, honestly anything goes.
4. Hang on to things.
Start hanging on to containers when you get the end of the product, so you can use it to refill with the product in a zero waste store. You'll be very happy when you realise that you can re-use those little jars your herbs & spices come in forever, and refill at a steal compared to the supermarkets!
5. Ask us.
Zero waste shops tend to follow a similar formula where you weigh your own container, write the weight on the container, fill it up, and then bring it to the till. The staff then will weigh your container, deduct the weight of the container & you pay. However, some stores do work in slightly different ways, so if there aren't any clear signs then don't be afraid to ask!