There are a lot of aspects in our lives where we can create waste without putting that much thought into what we’re doing. When it comes to grocery shopping, it’s so easy to think that there’s no other way to do it. There are, however, quite a few changes you could make to your grocery shopping habits that will help you produce less waste and be friendlier to the environment.
Bring your own reusable bags. Use small bags to separate your groceries. These can either be mesh or solid. They’re very lightweight, and you can continue using these kinds of bags for a really long time. You can use mesh ones for your produce and the solid ones if you’re buying bulk products.
Use jars or bags when buying in bulk. Buying in bulk can be cheaper a lot of times, and if you use your own bag or jar, it can also be more eco-friendly. With a bag, you don’t have to worry about increasing the total weight. But if you’re going to use a jar, you need to make sure to get its tare and to find out if the grocery store you’re at is okay with it. Some places don’t have a way to subtract the jar’s weight from the total weight.
Buy products in paper or glass packaging instead of plastic. Whatever it is you’re buying, if there’s a non-plastic packaging option, get that one instead. Paper can be recycled (or composted), and glass jars can be reused or upcycled in so many different ways. Glass can also be endlessly recycled, unlike plastic.
For products that go bad quickly, buy the larger option. Products such as flour, baking soda, and sugar last a long time. Even if you can’t find these kinds of products in a non-plastic packaging, you’re being eco-friendly when you buy the larger one. This is because it takes less energy to make one large bag than it does to make five small ones. And you won’t need to go back as often to purchase that product.
If you do use plastic bags, recycle or reuse them. A lot of grocery or clothing stores have a place where you can drop off plastic bags to be recycled. These often don’t go in the same recycling bin as other plastic items, so make sure you drop them off at the right place. You can also use plastic grocery bags as trash bags or to transport items. Whatever the case, don’t just throw them away after one use.
Reuse water jugs instead of buying a pack of plastic water bottles. Reusing the same plastic water jugs over and over is so much better for the environment than going every week to buy a new pack of water bottles. So if you have a habit of buying a case of water bottles as your way of staying hydrated, I urge you to look into a more eco-friendly solution.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your grocery shopping experience more eco-friendly. If you have any tips to add, feel free to leave those in the comments section.