We all have our standards for grocery shopping… that list of do’s and don’ts for what we choose. Maybe it’s a choice of organic produce and/or ingredients. Maybe it’s a matter of avoiding certain contents, like artificial ingredients. Maybe it’s just looking for the overall healthiest choices.
But above and beyond the food we select, there are many ways we can make our grocery store trip “greener”. Consider these 10 simple ways:
- Buy the most minimal packaging. Consider things like fresh breads. They often come in paper bags that can be recycled – a far better choice than plastic wrappers (sometimes double-wrappers!) of mass-produced bread. This holds true for many products. Select those with minimal or the most recyclable packaging.
- Buy a chunk or a brick of sliced cheese over the individually-wrapped version. A package of 24-slices will include 24 sheets of plastic otherwise.
- Buy the big can instead of multiple smaller cans – less packaging and less to recycle. If it’s more than you need, put a reusable container to work and store it in your freezer until you do need it!
- Buy local, every time you can! Did you know that produce in the US travels between 1,500 to 2,500 miles before it even reaches your grocery store? … lots of emissions are created to make that happen!
- Choose fresh over frozen or canned. They use a lot less energy… from the energy used to process and manufacture them, to the energy needed for storage… choose fresh!
- Choose sustainable wild fish over farm-raised – they actually contain less metals and create less contaminates since the concentration of farm-raised fish creates high levels of contaminating waste that will eventually reach our water sources.
- Buy a gallon of milk or juices versus multiple 2-quarts, and buy in boxes versus individual packages. This often means one recyclable container versus two non-recyclable cartons, and one recyclable box over a dozen plastic wrappers. It’s obvious and fairly easy to break down single-servings into reusable containers.
- Embrace the soybean! They’re a fabulous source of protein and cost a lot less than cattle farming! If you replaced one beef meal per month with a soybean product, it would save TWENTY THOUSAND GALLONS of water per year!
- Shop the counter. Buy meats at a counter where you can select the exact amount you need. Prepackaging ends up in excessive waste and often the needless disposal of foods when you “have too much”.
- No paper, no plastic, no arguments! Reusable bags are the only option.
It’s Friday. Now get to shopping… but just remember to think “green-ER” before you buy!