We all want to do our part in making the earth a friendly, safe, and clean place to live. There’s a lot you can do to reduce your overall carbon footprint, like using less water, foregoing plastics, and opting for eco-friendly products, but did you know you can make your grocery shopping more sustainable, too? Minimizing food waste and packaging waste is easier than you might think. Let’s check out some tips for making your grocery shopping more sustainable so you can make your shopping trips easier on you and the environment.
Plan Ahead and Only Get What You Need
Before you head to the grocery store, sit down and come up with a plan. Making a plan can help reduce food waste, save money, and take the stress out of deciding what to eat for every meal. Go through your refrigerator, cabinets, and drawers and take inventory. Jot down what you need, what you don’t need, and a few optional things like snacks or other things you want. Once you’re in the store, avoid making impulse purchases. Ask yourself, “Do I need this or want this? Will I ever actually use it?” If you buy something and forget about it, you’ll have to throw it away. Impulse buying isn’t sustainable in the long run. It’s fine to make the occasional slip-up but avoid it as much as you can!
Another tip for making your grocery shopping more sustainable is to shop locally. Food that’s from outside of your local area was transported there by boat, plane, or truck. This means that more greenhouse gas emissions enter the atmosphere with each shipment, especially if the shipment had to travel a long distance to get there. By purchasing local products, you’re helping cut down on food transportation, decreasing GHG emissions, and supporting regional farmers. The farmer’s market is a great place to go for affordable, local goods, but you can also check out places like the butcher’s shop, locally owned and operated grocery stores, or head straight to one of your local farms.
Use Your Own Shopping Bags
An eco-friendly shopping trip starts with reusable shopping bags. Plastic shopping bags create a lot of waste, especially when they start to pile up. Some people like to reuse them, but there’s a limit—you can’t keep thousands of bags in your pantry forever! Apart from their eco-friendliness, reusable bags have plenty of benefits. They fit a lot more than traditional plastic bags, which means you’ll have to take fewer trips from the car to your house. You can usually find these shopping totes available near the checkout line of your local grocery store. The next time you head to the store, consider picking one up.