Dear bulk, welcome back!

Did you know?

The Kootenay Co-op resumed its bring your own containers bulk service. The very next day, I went shopping with containers to test it out. Good feeling! 

Here is what is available to buy for now:

  • – spices, herbs, teas, flours, seeds, nuts, snacks (bulk section)
  • – dog treats (dog food aisle)
  • – essential oils (health department)
  • – vanilla (cheese department)
  • – sliced meats and on Friday, whole chickens (meat department)
  • – anything from the cafe, including a drink in your mug
  • – more coming.

I bought some chocolate, some hair conditioner,  sandwich meat, and a coffee to test. I also brought extra jars and my cloth bag.  I ended up with a piece of wax paper with my meat but still much less plastic.

Feeling rusty at bulk shopping?

Bring your own clean glass or plastic containers. No need to buy the fancy expensive ones. Reuse what you have.

Before you put anything in them, weigh your containers. You will find the tare station in the bulk section at the back. Write the weight and the code of your item. That’s it!

Bring wide containers or a funnel. I brought a wide mouth Mason Jar and it was almost too small for the bulk tubes, almost made a mess. Wider is easier.

Check for barcodes

If you reuse food containers like a yogurt container or an empty spice jar, make sure to cross off the barcode with a sharpie, as they get scanned at the till.


Have fun while cutting down containers and packaging! Enjoy buying the amount you really need and reduce food waste!

See you in the bulk section!

18 tips for low waste living

By: Dayna Jackson

Life is fast-paced! Part of our low waste revolution includes slowing down and making choices, setting priorities, and not having everything the day before we want it.

Here’s a list of investments to ease the transition into low waste living:

  1. A water bottle.
  2. Chopsticks or utensil of choice: You’ll be surprised at how many things you can shovel into your gaping mouth hole with two sticks.
  3. A container: If you’re going out to eat, bring a container for your leftovers. Some restaurants offer discounts for this initiative, and if they don’t, please suggest it. I’ve received only compliments anytime I’ve done this so get ready to feel like the King/Queen that you are!

COVID dependant pro-tip: Use a container to buy cheese and meats at delis.

  1. Bulk containers: Dish soap, shampoo, hand/body soap bars, dry goods, beans, spices, nuts, condiments, tofu, dips, spreads, cheese, etc. Ask your local grocery store to stock options you wish to see. The beauty of bulk is that you can buy a little and see if you like it or not. If that isn’t a YOLO move, I don’t know what is.
  2. (COVID dependant) Mesh bulk bags: Use em’ for fruits and veg, for bread from bakeries, for bulk nuts, pretzels, and corn nuts, for chocolate covered almonds and candy, for flour, cocoa powder, and spices, etc.
  3. Fruits and veggies not wrapped in plastic: You just tried chard for the first time, and it was great? That was easy.
  4. Recycled toilet paper: Le duh. And less of it!
  5. Organic food: My mom always says, “Pay for it now or pay for it later.” It’s worth every cent knowing you’re feeding your body to the best of your abilities. I spend about $400 on high-quality organic groceries every month which is about $13/day, for 3 meals and countless snacks (I’m a big, hungry, active gal)! Good luck beating that with 7/11 grab and go’s.
  6. Food from farmers, if you can: support local, eat in season, reduce transportation.
  7. Pick textiles carefully: Share clothes or do thrifty shops. When buying new, pay some attention to the materials used and opt for hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester (made from water bottles), etc.
  8. “Crystal Wash” or “Eco Egg”: Reusable laundry balls can be used for up to +1000 washes and work out to as low as $1-$4/year for about 30 years of clean clothes if you do laundry once a week (but you don’t cause you nasty). I have yet to try Tru Earth detergent strips which seem like a lovely alternative.
  9. Freeze your own food: Homemade burgers, sauces, corn, berries, bananas.Pro-tip: peel and chop bananas, freeze, remove and blend with cocoa powder and maple syrup, SHAZAM you made yourself a healthy ice cream
  10. Make broth from scraps: Keep scraps from onion, garlic, carrot, celery, pepper, and tomato without the tops, herbs, bones, and more in the freezer and make a huge batch of free broth which is shelf-stable when properly pressure cooked. Or can and keep them in the fridge
  11. Walk, bike, and use public transportation: I promise your ass will be so firm!
  12. Wrap gifts in old paper, newspaper, tax paper, whatever paper, just please stop with the wrapping paper.
  13. Read the resin code: A. Find out what numbers can and cannot be recycled in your community. B. Avoid products wrapped in plastics not accepted in your local recycling program. Buying in glass jars is always best if possible. Wash EVERYTHING before recycling, ALWAYS, like no exceptions, sister.
  14. Read and understand the ingredients: Boycott Monsanto and Nestle by stepping away from the high fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch and say goodbye to the palm oil if it’s not RSPO while you’re at it. We talk about these super corporations destroying our planet yet we keep buying their products. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is.


  1. Set aside one day a week to GYLT: “Get Your Life Together.” Seriously y’all: do your laundry, meal prep, make homemade snacks and food, read a book, call a loved one. Slow down, make choices, and set priorities.

Though most importantly, just keep trying, failing, and learning. Know that you are amazing for even reading to the end of this list.

Happy Earth Day! Slimmer Waste Re-Emerge

After a quiet inward winter followed by a COVID-19 spring adjustment, Slimmer Waste is re-emerging and nothing better to do it on the beautiful Earth Day.

Like many of you, Life did change a lot since mid-March going from figuring out the new normal for a while to keeping eyes wide open about the Earth and going back to slowing everything down. It is now time to reconnect.

Less garbage in Nelson these days

Hmmm, well not easy right now. I thought about it a lot lately.

Shopping is a lot different with social distancing, many stores closed, no bulk, no reusable cup and bags, and so on.  I figure it’s now time to focus on the 5-R’s with new eyes.

1-Refuse: refuse to give up hope. Refuse to stress out. Time to be really creative (especially with a 6yrs old in the house full time while working from home).

2- Reduce: reduce all my travel, my big projects, my goals. Time to chill out and enjoy what is.  Time to enjoy the weather, the lake, the forest, the connections with friends and family, and simple meals.

3-Reuse: oh yeah! Reuse is amazing right now in the house. As we are spending lots of time inside, almost everything has the potential to be reused and not just from the recycling bin to make craft projects. Reuse smaller clothing and transform in a doll blanket, reuse a large sheet to create a hammock with the kitchen table (so cool). Not only reuse but USE any little thing we have in the house, those books to observe animal tracks and birds, all the music instruments, all the seeds in the garden, all the unusual spaces, all the games and puzzles, all the food in the cupboards. We all have so much!

4-Recycle: Recycle my thoughts about was is true, what can I do, what should I let go, and actually do those little things and let go of all those little things. How come letting go is so hard at first? What a relief to let go. Recycle my goals. How to become a normal, not a super mom, worker, blogger while attending to her needs in those days to get more alone time. Recycling my thoughts is a pure gift right now and it’s working!

5-Rot: Compost is so amazing. I see the forest differently now. I see the beautiful way the nature compost and regrow. It takes a long process and a long time with certain conditions. How can I apply this to myself? I let the winter (perfect time for me) to compost my rhythm, the story I think I have, what is good, what is not for the planet, and let it sit a long time until I felt the growth of a little something and then today, I celebrate and RE-EMERGE! Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day Gifts

Uplifting FREE documentary

REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle The Planet. (Official Full Documentary)

Zero Waste talk in Nelson

Come and get inspire to the Green Home and Energy Show, Oct. 2 at the Prestige.

Nelson Hydro’s EcoSave Program and the West Kootenay EcoSociety present the 7th annual trade show event.

The theme of this year’s show is zero waste, Slimmer Waste will be there hoping to inspire many to transition to a less garbage journey.

Full schedule

Less Waste Shopping – Bulk 101

On a rewarding journey!

Going on a less waste journey is really rewarding and a LOT LESS complicated than most people expect it to be. What do you think you can buy in bulk with your own containers? Chips? No. Cheese? Yes! Meat? Yes! Vanilla? Yes! Essential Oils? Yes! Fish? Yes! Dip? Yes! Apple Cider Vinegar? Yes and all in Nelson. At the end of this post, you will find a list of what you can buy in bulk in town.

Hopefully, this list will keep on getting longer. I visited all the stores on the list. You will be surprised by the offer and the choices. Store’s owners are getting on it more and more. Are you ready?

Resisting the change?

Maybe you are inspired by friends and neighbors who produce less garbage? Maybe you want to make changes but for some reason, you keep pushing your start date? Maybe you feel some pressure on your shoulders or guilt about having to do something regarding climate change but, it blocks you instead of giving you the energy to do something. I understand and I’m sending you a virtual hug. No need for these negative feelings. I know it’s action time but the saying Slowly but surely does really apply here in order to create a real change. What about having fun with it? Explore. Be creative. We all have different needs, different strengths, different limitations. Just start with that. I believe in you!

Let’s explore buying in bulk with your own containers! Continue reading “Less Waste Shopping – Bulk 101”