Shopping for groceries while living an Eco-Friendly lifestyle can seem daunting.
Single-use plastics are everywhere! Although we may not be able to avoid all single-use plastics, we can reduce how many we purchase with these simple tips.
Eco-friendly ways to shop for Groceries
Bring your own bags:
The other day I watched as someone put bananas into a plastic produce bag. Yes, bananas…
Plastic produce bags are in my opinion, one of the worst offenders in plastic pollution.
They are used for one purpose and then thrown out. They are too thin to reuse for much of anything. So bring your own bags or go without them. The produce is going to be washed anyway so if you don’t have reusable produce bags don’t panic. However, you might want to carry something with you to hold green beans and other small loose items.
For shops that have a problem with you bringing in outside containers for bulk items, consider bringing small paper bags. You can write the item number on the outside and depending on what was in the bag, you can reuse it later, or add it to your compost bin!
If you’re not using reusable produce bags keep a watchful eye on the cashier. I’ve had them place my loose produce into small plastic bags and then into my reusable grocery bag…
Shop at Locally owned markets and farmer’s markets.
Helping local shops and growers helps small businesses and the produce, baked goods, and eggs are so much fresher than you can find at large grocery shops.
Be sure to bring your own containers for meats, cheeses, and other items that can’t be placed into a bag!
Buy in Bulk & Shop Less
Last year we broke down and got a Costco Membership… It has been the best decision we’ve made. Not only in money savings but in the waste we bring into our homes.
We only shop for groceries once a month. Yup, once a month!
We get everything we need for the month, this includes meats, veggies, loaves of bread, eggs, cheeses, etc…
We freeze all the meat and half the veggies which allows it to stay fresh for the month.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, a lot of Costco’s items are in plastic, but so are a lot of items in regular grocery stores.
Shopping at Costco has allowed us to reduce how much plastic we bring into our home because everything is sold in bulk so we aren’t purchasing multiples of items in a month. This helps our waste stay pretty minimal.
We’ve started to incorporate the awesome bulk food section at Whole Foods to further reduce our waste.
This is not a commercial for Costco, but I want to mention we have two beagles, and the Costco brand dog food lasts them two months! We have been getting a bag of food once a month from regular stores, so this is another way Costco has helped us reduce waste!
Rethink how you purchase meat and grow your veggies
Plant your favorite veggies to have year-round! This reduces waste and is more cost-effective than purchasing at shops.
I know this won’t be for everyone, but hunting and fishing can help reduce your carbon footprint if you’re a meat-eater like I am. The less meat we buy from meat processing facilities, the better it’ll be for the environment. We don’t get all of our meat through hunting and fishing, but we do get a fair amount.
If hunting or fishing isn’t for you, shop for range-free, grass-fed, wild-caught, and antibiotic-free meats.
Contact local meat markets or farms. Some small farms sell meat directly to consumers.
Shopping for groceries doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just remember our efforts to reduce waste will make a difference.
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