Going Green at the Grocery Store: Simple Things that Make a Big Difference

by on November 13th, 2010
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I’m all for going green, but I’m a busy person. I want simple steps I can take, things that don’t cost much money and don’t take much time. I think those things are issues for many people. Here are some easy ways you can go green at the grocery store.

Buy Organic

Buy organic produce when you can. It usually costs a bit more but it is better for the environment than produce treated with pesticides and other chemicals. It’s better for your health, too.

Take Your Own Shopping Bags

If you have a pile of those plastic shopping bags at home, take a handful with you next time you go to the grocery store. Cloth shopping bags last longer, though, and are a good investment. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. Check out your local thrift store for inexpensive totes or consider sewing your own. Keep some in the trunk of your car so you don’t forget them when you head to the store.

Skip the Produce Bags or Take Your Own

You can save and reuse those thin plastic produce bags, too, or buy or make cloth bags to hold your fresh fruits and veggies. If you’re just buying one cucumber or two oranges, though, you don’t really need a separate bag just for them. Just stick them in your cart as is.

Buy from the Bulk Bins

If you can, buy things like dried fruits, nuts, beans and pasta from bulk bins. Take your own containers to put these things in; you can repurpose glass jars that other food items come in to hold these things. Stop at the customer service desk when you get to the store so they can weigh your containers and mark the weight on each one; that way the cashier knows to subtract the weight of the container from the total weight of each item so you only pay for what you buy. You can do the same thing with items you purchase from the deli.

Look for Less Packaging

Look for items that contain less packaging materials. For instance, some brands of tea bags are individually wrapped in paper. Other brands are unwrapped and simply sealed in a box. Choose the brand with the tea bags that are unwrapped and save some trees.

Look for Recyclable Packaging

Since you can’t avoid buying some packaged items at the store, look for those that come in recyclable packaging. For instance, buy bathroom tissue that is wrapped in paper instead of plastic if you can find it.

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