Hello, fellow green thumbs and eco-shoppers.
Marina Wright here with my trusty canvas tote and a penchant for plastic-free living. A trip to the grocery store can sometimes feel like navigating a plastic jungle. From bagged vegetables to plastic-sealed meats, it’s a challenge for even the most committed eco-warrior. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? Let me share my top 10 tips for plastic-free grocery shopping.
1. Embrace the Bulk
Shop from bulk bins whenever possible. They’re a fantastic way to reduce packaging waste and you can buy exactly what you need, so there’s no food waste either!
2. Bring Your Own Containers
Glass jars, cloth bags, and stainless-steel containers are excellent for carrying everything from pasta to grains, dried fruit, and even deli items.
3. Choose Loose Vegetables and Fruits
Reject pre-packaged fruits and vegetables. Instead, opt for loose produce and remember to carry your own reusable produce bags.
4. Carry Reusable Shopping Bags
This may seem obvious, but always remember to bring your own shopping bags.
5. Shop Local
Farmers’ markets are an excellent source of local, fresh produce, often with less plastic packaging than supermarkets. Plus, you’ll be supporting local farmers!
6. Say No to Plastic Cutlery and Straws
If your grocery shopping includes a quick snack or drink, ensure you carry your own cutlery and reusable straws.
7. Look for Returnable, Reusable Packaging
Some companies have return schemes for their packaging. Milk in returnable glass bottles is a classic example.
8. Pick Paper
If plastic-free options are not available, choose products packaged in paper or cardboard. They are generally easier to recycle.
9. Avoid Single-Serve Packages
They may be convenient, but single-serve packages generate a lot of waste. Buy in bulk and portion at home instead.
10. Make Your Own
Sometimes, the best way to avoid packaging is to make your own. Consider making homemade bread, snacks, or even almond milk!
Shopping plastic-free takes a bit of planning, but the rewards, for our health and the planet, are worth it. Remember, every plastic-free choice we make adds up. After all, as Robert Swan famously said, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”