Zero-Waste Refrigerator

 
 
 

Here's what our groceries look like this month. I shop once a week now, at the market (click here for my Paris market guide), returning rubber bands to the stalls and putting produce directly in my own bags. Not eating cheese or meat, and choosing fresh nuts instead of bulk, simplifies zero-waste shopping. I haven't had the experience others describe, where French people accept cloth bags and reusable containers without question. It's a struggle. I could go to one stand for months before they finally stop arguing with me. "Le sac, c'est trop petit," argued one man, who weighed my produce only days before and saw that in fact, it was not too small, it was significantly larger than the tiny "biodegradable" ones he wanted to use. Everyone is so accustomed to paper bags, one woman told me she saves and reuses them for years. "This was much easier in America," she said. Nevertheless, I saw one au pair at the market, pushing a stroller with a little girl beside her, carrying fresh almonds in the baby's hat. "We weren't supposed to stop here," the au pair explained. "But they wanted a snack."

To prevent produce from wilting in the fridge, click here for a zero-waste food storage guide. In the late spring / early summer, on average, I buy about twelve kilos produce. It costs 30-40 euro tops- Sunday, I spent 28 euro. Monthly, we buy 750mL olive oil, chia / hemp seeds, a coconut and lots of nuts. In the jars are homemade mustard, coconut cream, curry pastes, amlou left from Morocco, and tamarind juice. We don't eat out much- I cook veggies with a little olive oil, chili, garlic and lemon juice, and my husband asks for seconds every time. He's not even eating meat at home anymore!

 

Paris to Go

16 comments:

  1. Wow, that is admirable. If you think Paris is expensive, that lot would cost me at least double here in Switzerland at a discount supermarket (and open/farmer's markets cost a good deal more)…! Nice selection, though :)

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    1. Oh yes, Switzerland is SO expensive for groceries. My friend who lived in Japan- where food is very expensive- was shocked at the market prices there. And in the US, I could not get this quality for this price!

      Grocery stores here, though, are usually much more than the marché, I noticed- for instance, today at Carrefour cherries were 21 euro per kilo! I buy them for eight at the market! Even Dia is charging 11 euro this week. I saw some people outside Carrefour picking out all the discarded merchandise from the trash- lots of fresh food- and putting them in their shopping carts. What a waste.

      Anyway the market wasn't always so cheap, but I've been going to the same people for so long, they start slashing prices and giving stuff for free. The hour I go may have something to do with it- a little bit later, when they're trying to get rid of stuff. I like that I can try before I buy, too.

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  2. Hello, i just discovered your blog searching for " capsule wardrobe". I happen to be on the zéro waste path too (and french lol)
    J'adore ton blog ! A bientôt

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    1. Ah, merci Adeline! Way to go with the zéro déchet, bonne courage! Bisous

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  3. I go to the farmers market once a week and get two big bags and flowers for about $25. And it's organic :)

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    1. That is awesome Jana! Proving that organic is not always more expensive. I just love the philosophy behind your website and line of linens, by the way! Can't wait to see them when they come back in stock. Must be gorgeous!

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  4. How gorgeous. I wish I could get this variety in my town. Could you detail what's in the refrigerator by drawer? I'm wondering why certain things are stored in cloth and certain things in the drawers.

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  5. hi ariana! your site design is beautiful now but i can't see all of the comments, they are cut off a little on the right side. could you fix please? thank you.

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  6. Hey gal, looks like the blog is coming along nicely! I'm wondering if you still have an archives section or a search feature? Thanks!

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    1. Please disregard my previous comment, the complete archives are up! It didn't take as long as I thought :) I still don't know how to do the search box I want though so hopefully by this weekend I'll figure it out.

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    2. Ok never mind, I put the search box in now too :)

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  7. Woot! Ps: totally scrubbed my fridge out from top to bottom with a TOOTHBRUSH today (freezer another time.) In other news, hell froze.
    Thanks for the gorgeous photo inspiration- it kept me going (heck, it STARTED me going.)Tomorrow: more jewelry editing.

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    1. Hi Darcy, thanks for your sweet comment. And thanks for reminding me I need to clean my fridge actually :)

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  8. boy, those farmers market verbal confrontations... same issue here. But I noticed some farmers are more willing to help you with your waste free intentions, they even call me "oh, that's my girl" and some even take it personally if I remind them "no plastic bag, please" responding "I remember you". And no matter how driven I am to educate as many of them as possible by shopping at different places, I can't but keep coming back to those who learned their lessons faster :) And admit it sometimes you just not in the mood for a argument.

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