is there a way to make grocery shopping more eco friendly?



  1. 0 Votes

    Buying items in bulk is a great way to reduce packaging in grocery stores.  Many Whole Foods grocery stores offer extensive bulk sections.  Also, a new grocery store called In.gredients in Austin, Texas opened this fall which creates zero packing waste.

  2. 0 Votes

    Probably the number one way to make grocery shopping more eco friendly is to use reusable bags.  It’s been estimated that US consumers use up to 100 billion plastic shopping bags every year.  I’d like to think that this number has dropped in recent years, as consumers have become more aware of their environmental impact; but overall, bagging groceries in dispoable plastic or paper bags is still the norm.  While the environmental impact of paper bags is mostly on the production end, plastic bags continue to be a danger to the environment throughout their lifecycle, especially since they frequently go unrecycled, and end up either in a landfill, floating in the breeze, or in the water.  Like all plastic, plastic bags are not biodegradable, and they take an incredibly long time to break down.  Moreover, plastic bags have been shown to be dangerous to wildlife, who occasionally ingest them accidentally.

    Going to the grocery store less frequently and buying enough food in one trip to keep you going for a week or more is more eco-friendly than making frequent trips and only buying a few things each time.  Along the same lines, carpooling will also cut down on energy use and emissions.

    Buying in bulk reduces the need for excess packaging.

    Another way to make grocery shopping more eco friendly is to skip the grocery store altogether.  Buying from a trusted local farm eliminates emissions from long-distance transporation and excess packaging.  Moreover, if you’re buying from an organic farm, you’re supporting ethical, eco-friendly farming practices.

  3. 0 Votes

    andyyeah and maddie both provided some excellent suggestions! Personally, I always shop by bicycle and ask the people at the checkout to pack items directly into my pannier bags and/or backpack, thus skipping the plastic bags.

    Buying items in bulk is an excellent way to save packaging. However, when items are not available in bulk bins, try to get the largest package possible because the surface area to volume ratio will be smaller. In addition to saving on packaging, you will also save money because larger packages usually have a lower price per ounce. Thus, for non-perishable goods such as rice, pick the largest bag you can carry.

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