While grocery shopping is a necessity, it doest mean we should not take the planet into consideration during our weekly outing.
There are many ways that the food and products you buy at the grocery store impact the environment. Fossil fuels are being burnt to transport products into the grocery store; items are wrapped in plastic which most probably contain all sorts of dangerous toxins; there is waste created after consuming said products and much of the products we purchase, cleaning products in particular, contain a number of harmful toxins and chemicals. This does not even consider the impact on the environment from producing the items!
There are different ways to make grocery shopping green-so check them out and see what you can do to create a green shopping experience!
- The obvious. The reusable plastic bag. I don't think I need to go into details why disposable plastic bags are evil. You can read more here and here.
- The not so obvious. Many people forget the not so distant cousin of the reusable grocery bag: the reusable produce bag. If people used just one plastic disposable produce bag a week, the United States alone would consume approximately 16,227,172,000 produce bags a year! I don't know about you, but that is a lot of plastic produce bags being used in one year! Buy some reusable bags and kick the habit!
- Seriously, do you need twist ties? To me this seems like a waste. Trying buying reusable clips or skip the twist ties all together. You can tie the bag or even just wrap the bag so nothing falls out.
- Bulk. That is the best way to buy when considering the environment. When you buy in bulk, you are avoiding purchasing items that are pre-packed in way too much plastic or paper.
- Checkout your local farmers’ market. For the most part, farm fresh means exactly that: it is fresh, local and usually less expensive than at a typical grocery store. Many famers’ markets not only have produce, but local breads, meats, cheese, milk and honey.
- Buy organic when you can or at least try to avoid products from the dirty dozen list.
- Try to develop a list prior to going shopping and stick to it. This will help avoid buying something pre-packaged you don't really need.
- Now about that list. Instead of using new paper to write your list; try an electronic list if you have a tablet. If not use scrap paper– paper that would otherwise be going to the recycling bin.
- We spend lots and lots of money on cleaning products when all we really need is some water, vinegar, and baking soda. Try making your own and see how much money you keep in your wallet. By not purchasing a new spray bottle or 5 different types of cleaning products, you are diverting lots of waste from a landfill.
- This might not be feasible for everyone, but have you ever thought to walk or bike to the grocery store? This is not only good for the environment, but your health as well. Bring a backpack and load it up with all your essentials.
- I am not sure about you, but grocery shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. I try my best to only go once a week. This way you are reducing the amount of gas being use which equals saving money for you and it will reduce the amount of emission released into the atmosphere. Win win for everyone.
- Buy less meat. Did you know that raising livestock is an incredibly resource-intensive process? It accounts for a huge part of our carbon emission problem. So why not try embracing a more veggie-focused diet which in turn will be better for the environment and much better for your health.
Some of you might have already introduced some of these tips into your grocery shopping experience. If so, good for you!
Why not take the plunge and make your shopping experience a little more green!