You want to improve the state of the environment, beginning with your daily activities, but you’re not sure where to begin. Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by the scale of climate change and the ocean plastic issue and unclear of how you can help. Fortunately, no deed is too tiny to contribute to positively changing the world. Even a basic operation like grocery shopping has the potential to tip the balance in terms of how the food sector creates and sell items.
If you want to make a difference with the resources you have available to you, environmentally responsible food shopping is a fantastic way to get started.
Purchase Local Products
Food that is not grown in your immediate vicinity must be carried via boat, plane, or vehicle. This means that each cargo releases additional glasshouse gas (GHG) emissions into the environment, especially if the distance is great. In 2017, the transportation industry as a whole accounted for 29% of GHG emissions in the United States. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide were among the gases emitted.
Purchasing locally wherever feasible helps reduce food shipping costs and supports local farms. The farmers market is an excellent place to get reasonably priced, locally sourced items. You may notice that a number of the goods are packaged minimally, making it easy to purchase food responsibly without increasing your plastic usage.
Make Shopping Bags Reusable
In many circumstances, you can bring your own shopping bags to the business. This is not only an environmentally responsible idea; it also saves you money in the long term. You may use one large bag for all your shopping and smaller ones for fruits and veggies that would normally be placed in plastic bags. Additionally, you may bring your own containers to the butcher to save additional packaging.
Purchase some durable shopping bags that you can use again at the market. This eliminates the need to reuse paper or plastic shopping bags.
You’ve heard it from all the health food advocates, and now you’re going to hear it from the eco-warriors as well — shop the perimeter! Processed foods are the most heavily packaged foods. After all, which requires more packing, a box of chips-a-hoy or the purchase of flower, sugar, and other ingredients?
Purchasing the components yourself requires far less packing and eliminates the need for superfluous chemicals like palm oil. Therefore, whether you want to avoid a load of extra packing at the bulk store or not, you should definitely browse the perimeter of the grocery store!
Avoid Items That Have Been Pre-Washed
Many individuals prefer pre-washed goods such as lettuce or salad mixes. While some things may be more handy, they can cost more and may have a negative impact on the environment. Rather than purchasing plastic-wrapped vegetables, purchase fresh produce and wash it at home.
One of the most effective methods to lessen your environmental impact is to eat a more plant-based diet, which is also economical because vegetables are often the least expensive things at the grocery store. Simply remember to bring those reusable produce bags with you when you go shopping.
Examine your plastics
While plastic objects are ubiquitous while shopping for your favourite foods, this does not mean you have to abandon the cause. By being more aware of the kind of plastics you use, you can ensure that they end up in a recycling plant rather than a landfill.
If you purchase an item packaged in plastic, look for the resin identifying code – a little number enclosed in a triangle. This symbol indicates which of the following seven kinds of plastic the item is composed of:
- Polystyrene (PS)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE)
- All other plastics, including acrylic and nylon
So, the next time you make your grocery runs, remember this.