Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Green Grocery Shopping and other Green Living topics.
Love it or hate it, we all have to eat – and that usually means grocery shopping. While you're browsing the aisles and checking items off your list, though, think about a few ways you can be a “green” grocery shopper and, in turn, reduce your footprint on the environment.
*Avoid individually packaged items. We often have options as the supermarket to buy items that are “conveniently” packaged in individual units to make packing lunches and eating-on-the-go easier. Food such as yogurt, pudding, granola bars, soft drinks, juice, cereal, and snack foods may come in packages of multiple single-serving sizes in addition to larger, “bulk” sizes. Even though the individual sizes do seem more convenient, they also produce more waste with their packaging than the larger sizes. You can buy the larger sizes and then divide up the food at home in reusable containers to avoid the excess garbage.
*Bring your own bags Instead of allowing the bagger to bag your groceries in disposable plastic or paper bags, bring your own bags made of cloth, mesh, or other recycled material to reduce the garbage produced by grocery bags. Some specialty grocery stores even offer incentives in the form of discounts to people who bring their own bags.
*Avoid as much packaging as you can In the produce aisle, do you really need to put your bananas, head of lettuce, or bunch of carrots in a plastic bag? You'll probably end up throwing the bag away anyway, so bypass the plastic in the produce aisle and wait until you get home where you can store the food in a reusable container.
*Buy items in recycled packaging Many items today are packaged in recycled paper or plastic, which is labeled on the bag or box. Look for items that are labeled as such, and that have a high percentage of recycled content in their packaging. Also look for items that are packaged in recyclable containers – either ones that you can drop off at a designated point, or ones that you can use yourself at home to reduce your own garbage.
my class is doing a project on recycling and reusing grocery bags. we are making bags with pictures panted on them of reducing, reusing and recycling. on the other side it says reduce reuse recycle. Like the song by jack johnson. and not only is it helping the enviroment, it is helping the homeless cause we are donating the money to COTS. isnt it a great project?! more people should catch on to this and form a project like this at there school! also dont think kids dont care about the enviroment or the homeless, cause this is proof the KIDS CARE AND SO SHOULD YOU!!!
Good article. Dilemma: if fresh produce is not packaged and we don't put it in plastic bag offered in the produce section, then the cashier has to handle it with hands that also handle dirty cash/coins. Does anyone have an idea for how to solve this? Thank you. Also like the Kids Care idea above.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|