Kermit the Frog wasn’t right about one thing – it IS easy being green. Small simple deeds go a long way, you don’t have to be perfect at your attempts, and every little bit counts! We’ve put together a short list of 5 simple green ways to shop at the grocery store. Follow any one of these (or better yet, all of them) and you’ll be on your way to living the green life!
- Bring your own bags. This is so easy to do. At the same time, it’s just as easy for us to get caught in an unplanned trip to the store and not have any bags. Avoid this scenario by keeping those reusable bags everywhere – in your car, in your bicycle basket, next to your keys, etc.
- Buy things with little packaging. If you have a choice between two products, one wrapped in plastic and cardboard and more plastic, and one with minimal packaging, choose the one with the minimal packaging. It took less energy to create and will leave less of a carbon footprint. Plus, minimal packaging creates less waste.
- Shop the perimeter. In food writer, Michael Pollan’s 7 Rules for Eating, he advises that you stay out of the middle of the grocery store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
- Buy local and seasonal. Just because your super market might carry watermelons in December doesn’t mean you should buy one (unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere, then go right ahead). It takes energy, gas, and not to mention carbon offsets for fruit and veggies to get from far away places to a shelf at your local market. Plus, the closer it was grown, the fresher the produce is likelier to be.
- Read the ingredients. Avoid buying foods that contain unnatural sounding substances. A lot of those ingredients are chemicals, which may not necessarily be unsafe, but they do impact the environment. We can pretty much guarantee that something with only a few ingredients is going to be better for you (and the environment) than something like a Twinkie.
As an extra bonus – try not to buy disposable items like paper napkins and paper towels. Instead use dish towels and cloth napkins. You’ll save money and create less waste!
What did we miss? What are some of your tips for ways to be more eco-conscious at the grocery store?