If you’re interested in helping preserve the planet and not be so wasteful, the grocery store might be an overlooked but a fantastic place to start.
Going grocery shopping it is hard to find three isles without all of the items being covered in plastic. And when you check out that everything is bagged in plastic – or worse – double bagged!
The amount of plastic one takes home to throw away just from the store is really unbelievable. And for those who have large families or go grocery shopping frequently, it can really add up.
Below are simple, doable yet extremely effective ways to help be less wasteful at the grocery store! You got this!
Bring Your Own Reusable Tote Bags
Not only is this super eco-friendly, but this can be so fun! There are tons of tote bags in all sizes and designs. You can really get creative with the bags you carry. My mom and I like to pick up ones that are unique in different places we go to as a fun memory from that trip that we see each time we go shopping. Another good (and “free”) tote to carry are ones that some shops give out as their bag! For instance, Kit and Ace (from the founder of Lulu Lemon) gives out all of their clothes in these nice blue bags.
If you do however happen to forget your tote at home (which happens to us all! – even if we seem to put it right by the front door) I always opt for using paper bags. To me, they seem more eco-friendly and can carry more items than the smaller plastic bags. And to be fair, they totally are! Whole Foods has 100% recycled paper bags.
Plus! One more perk of using your own tote bag is some grocery stores even give their customers a discount for doing so. For instance, Whole Foods, one of my most frequented grocery stores, gives up to a 10 cent discount per bag you bring in and use while shopping. Some other stores are rumored to do similar discounts. Even though it may not seem like much at the time, a discount is still a discount and you are helping save the planet 😉
Buy Items In Bulk
It can be hard to do this for every purchase you make at the market, but parts are certainly doable.
The isles I find most applicable for this one are:
For The Milk Drinkers: Buy The Refundable Glass Bottle
If you are an avid milk drinker or like to use it in your smoothies, cereal, and baking then you should switch to buying the milk in a bottle. Almost every large retail grocery store has this option available. I started doing this when my mom switched to buying the glass bottles and really liked it.
How it works is at the store you will spend about $2 more than one usually would for a container of milk. This is a deposit you are putting down on the bottle. Take your milk home and consume as regular except rinse out and save your bottle once it is empty. The next time you go to the grocery be sure to bring it back with you (in your super cute tote bag you will be carrying 😉 ) and get your deposit back!
This is super environmentally friendly if you and/or your household drinks a lot of milk. By returning and reusing glass bottles it helps eliminate the giant plastic jug you would otherwise be trashing weekly. Depending on how much milk you drink this could save the planet a ton of waste! And when it is time for the bottle to be recycled, it is glass which is much easier to be completely reused.
Skip the Pre-Packaged Plastic Containers-
This is honestly a hard one but if you can, opt to buy your produce not pre-packaged.
-Buy whole carrots instead of the mini ones in plastic (although I know how good and juicy those are to eat!)
-Buy your fruit WHOLE!! Don’t buy it already sliced up in the plastic. Almost always it will be cheaper and you will get more for your buck to buy fruits whole and then slice yourself
-This goes too for the trays of veggies. Buy the celery, carrots, broccoli etc. and make a gorgeous arrangement of them once you’re at home
Buy Compostable Trash Bags
This is a bonus tip for you to take home! I started buying compostable trash bags and have felt less guilty about using “plastic” bags as trash liners.
If you collect and then give your food scraps to organizations that compost for you, this is something you might be interested in. (Pst…you can even do this while living in a big city!! More on that to come in a later post so stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more.)
Unfortunately, as of now, almost every compostable bag is unsuitable for at home composting. BUT- if you compost at home then YAY you – so proud of you!! It’s honestly addicting, isn’t it?!
You can double check on the back of the bag packaging to find the “rules” of usage for each brand.
So there you have it! Five super simple yet effective ways to be less wasteful at the grocery store that you can start today. Which makes for a positive impact for yourself and for the environment. The planet and animals will be happy about these changes!
I’d love to hear about how you are making a change to be less wasteful at the grocery store while you’re out shopping. Feel free to share this information with others to start a domino effect! Thanks for reading, eco-friendly babe!