We all know that we shouldn’t use endless amounts of plastic bags, but there is so much more that you can do to make your shopping eco-friendly. We want to provide you with 6 tips on how to navigate the grocery-jungle for a more eco-friendly grocery shopping experience.
A lot of eco-friendly grocery shopping is about the preparation. And it begins with shopping bags. Why buying a bag at the store if you can just bring your own from home? Of course, it is easy to forget to bring your own bags, but just fold one up tightly to always carry in your handbag or purse, and you’ll always have one if you need it! And don’t forget to take produce bags – it’s worth it.
#2 Don’t waste it
Food waste is most likely to be the biggest problem when it comes to grocery (shopping): in a global emissions ranking it would be up there right behind the big polluters China and USA. So please, take that problem serious. Only buy what you really need – and if you are not sure whether you will actually use something on your list before it goes bad, consider buying a canned version! Even if you change your plans keep in mind that canned product can be stored and does not just go bad and needs to be thrown out. Don’t just buy something because it is on sale or looks nice and tasty. It’s worth nothing if you end up trashing it.
#3 Look for Logos
Those labels on your food are not a random marketing gag. Read up on the meanings of certain labels and then look for them in the shop. It might be confusing at first and there are logos out there that sound more promising than they actually are, but the effort is worth it. Certifications you can trust are for example: fair-trade, non-gmo, organic and safe catch.
#4 Choose local and seasonal
Going on a more eco-friendly shopping trip gets easier the smaller you can go. If you buy from a local farmer you will always have less waste with packaging and a product with a smaller ecological footprint. Think about all the energy that goes into growing and transporting an exotic product to your local grocery store: It has to be shipped or flown in and wrapped in plastic to not have it go bad before it even reaches its destination. The same goes for products that are not in season. Nowadays, you can buy everything you want, anytime you want. But we know the cost of that luxury now, so don’t let it tempt you! If you really want or need something that is not on season or a bit more exotic, please consider buying it canned. Canned products are processed right after they are harvested and therefore don’t need to travel the world to get to you – with canned produce your fresh fruits and veggies are always in season. And it keeps all the nutrients as well, so it’s really not a compromise at all.
#5 BIY – Bake it yourself
Cook or bake it yourself – if you have the time. Yes, buying ready-made cookies and other processed food might sound convenient at first, but cooking and baking yourself not only is healthier, but also cheaper and way friendlier to the environment. Processed foods just create so much unnecessary waste. And we all know they are also just not good for you. If you can, just try to bake or cook yourself, you’ll know what is really in the food you consume, you’ll make a notable impact on your way to go green, and it will taste better.
#6 Buy in bulk
If you have the option, buying in bulk is always the best way to reduce your waste. Especially for products like rice, noodles and other grains. But of course, it is not possible for everyone. Keep it in mind though that there are more zero-waste shops opening everywhere now – and that’s a trend we can get behind!