April is known as Earth Month in my circles and there is a lot of fun stuff coming next month but I have to tell you about the Bulk is Green Council (BIG) and Love Bulk Foods. About a month ago I received an amazing package from BIG and their sponsors full of all natural flax granola, organic trail mix and a few other surprises.
Why should you buy in bulk?
- Buying in bulk saves thousands of pounds of waste from our landfills. For example, if Americans purchased all their coffee from the bulk bins for 1 week during Earth Month, 5,000,000 lbs of foil packaging would be saved from the landfill.
- Organic bulk food costs 89% less than packaged counterparts. Most of this cost savings comes from the company saving from having to package the products for you.
- Buying bulk saves shelf space and allows more variety. I had never thought about this one before but those bulk bins can store a LOT more product than a shelf full of boxes. Plus they look really cool!
- Buying bulk food saves in transportation costs and fueling costs. It takes less space to ship more product! Less trucks on the road, less fuel, win-win for the planet!
What can you buy in bulk?
Almost anything you need is available in bulk and just because it says “bulk” doesn’t mean you have to buy a lot of it. Buying “bulk” may actually allow smaller families, singles, and the elderly buy only the food they need without adding food waste from spoiled food.
Some common bulk food items include: spices, beans, grains and legumes, pasta, nuts, dried fruit, sugar, flour, and coffee.
Where can you buy in bulk?
This one is a little more challenging since most of the traditional grocery stores don’t sell many items in bulk. You can usually find coffee in bulk at your local grocer but that’s about it. To find the true bulk bins you’ll need to find your local health food or organic food stores.
When shopping at your traditional grocer you can still take advantage of buying bulk by buying larger packages of the items you know you’ll need. Things like cereal and pancakes are always purchased in the largest packages here since we go through them so quickly. I also try to buy the largest containers of peanut butter, butter, milk, and other essential items.
When buying online try some of the sponsors of the Love Bulk Food campaign.
- SunRidge Farms – they make the BEST trail mix ever (pictured below)
- Attune Foods – the all natural flax granola that I’m munching on now (pictured above)
- Frontier Co-op – organic spices, teas and more
- Lundberg Family Farms – Non-GMO certified organic whole grains
Storing bulk food.
Invest in some nice glass jars for an eco-friendly way to store your bulk foods. Thanks to BIG I know have 2 nice recycled glass jars full of bulk granola (well they were full until I ate it all). I also find that mason jars work great for smaller quantities and when you have kids in the house. My kids can manage those smaller jars easier without dropping them on the ground.
Join the Love Bulk Foods movement this April! Make your pledge to buy organic bulk foods this April. Here are some suggestion on how you can change just one thing each week as you shop:
- Week 1: Buy Bulk Coffee
- Week 2: Buy freshly ground peanut butter
- Week 3: Buy bulk almonds
- Week 4: Buy bulk whole grain oatmeal
Of course you can substitute any of these to meet your own families needs.
What items would you buy in bulk? Does your regular grocery store offer bulk buying bins?
Disclosure: The products shown in this blog post were provided for me to use in this review. The opinions and ideas in this post are my own in support of BIG and Love Bulk Foods campaign.