Sustainable Living

Green ways to Shop for Groceries

Grocery shopping 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.

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 then thrown out. They are too thin to reuse for much of anything. So bring your own bags or go without. The produce is going to be washed anyway so if you don’t have reusable produce bags don’t panic. Although 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 Local

Shop at Locally owned markets and farmers markets.

Helping local shops and growers helps small business 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 really has been the best decision we’ve made. Not only in money savings, but in the waste we bring into our home.

Here’s why:
We only shop for groceries once a month. Yup, once a month!
We get everything we need for the month, this includes meats, veggies, breads, 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 2 beagles, and the Costco brand dog food lasts them 2 months! We had been getting a bag of food once a month for them from regular stores, so this is another way Costco has helped us reduce waste!

Grow it at home

Plant your favorite veggies to have year round! This reduces waste and is more cost effective than purchasing at shops.
For tips on sustainable gardening, check out my post about it here.

Hunt or Fish

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 aren’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 meats directly to consumers.

Shopping for groceries doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just remember our efforts to reduce waste do make a difference.

What green ways do you shop for groceries?

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