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Bulking Up
Valérie Dufort-Roy | Klish Way


With a goal to eliminate, recycle, or compost 75% of solid waste by 2020, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has been challenging manufacturers and brand owners to reduce packaging-waste by 50%. We can all contribute to this goal by eliminating packaging from grocery shopping with purchasing bulk goods in reusable containers.

My family has “gone bulk” for about a year. Our findings? Bulk foods are often organic, local, and cheaper than pre-packaged foods. Bulk personal care products and detergents are usually free of the long list of harmful chemicals we aim to avoid.

Any grocery will let us use mesh or cotton bags for veggies or for un-bagged bread. Sometimes we even score a small credit for using our own bags.

How To: Head to the cash register or customer service counter to have your clean glass or plastic containers weighed, before filling them out. I recommend sticking a small piece of tape on each container, to help the employee write the tare weight. We regularly visit all the locations below.

Addresses in town: Jimbo’s Del Mar Highlands (12853 El Camino Real), Sprouts Solana Beach (650 Lomas Santa Fe), and Whole Foods Flower Hills (2600 Via de la Valle) all offer a great selection of bulk foods such as grains, coffees, sweet and savory snacks, granolas, nuts and dry fruits.

Addresses worth the drive: Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market (4765 Voltaire Street, San Diego, 92017): Besides being a regular grocery, the cooperative is the bulk hub of San Diego, offering varieties of pasta, grains, flour, sugar, breakfast cereals, dried fruits, nuts, oils, honey, soy & tamari sauce, maple syrup, chocolate, snacks, coffee, tea, spices, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing cream, hand soap, dish soap, and organic jelly beans too! It costs $15 annually to become a member-owner.

Earthwell Refill (4114 Adams Ave, San Diego, 92116): This fantastic find offers bulk soap, detergent, shampoo, toothpaste (!), moisturizing cream, cleaning vinegar, and many sustainable items such as compostable floss and reusable bamboo straws.

Happy shopping! Next month, I will discuss composting from A to Z, and the miracle of bokashi.

Has your family taken particular steps to make our planet a more sustainable place to live in? Did you find a local business with superb eco-friendly practices we should support? Please write to sustainability@delmarsandpiper.org and I will include your suggestions in future articles.



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