Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable at the Grocery Store

I used to love grocery shopping when I was first married because I got to spend money. The budget was extremely tight when we were first married, and food, rent and bills took all our cash. 

Now, grocery shopping is a bit of a chore. I have to find time to go - preferably without the kids. But, we all like to eat, and I don't see my backyard garden fully sustaining us anytime soon. I make a lot of green decisions at the grocery store - some of them are not so easy. But there are also some easy things I do, and you can do to, to make sure that my grocery shopping has a lighter impact on the earth.
  1. Take your time to make a thorough list so that you don't forget things you will need. This will save you from making unnecessary extra trips during the week.
  2. Always, always, always, bring your reusable shopping bags. Carry one with you at all times, like a Chicobag, so that you are never caught without one.
  3. Consider purchasing reusable produce bags so you don't need to take the plastic ones.
  4. If you've only got two onions or two zucchinis or whatever, don't bother taking a produce bag. Just place them next to each other on the check out belt so the cashier can ring them together.
  5. Buy your meat from the butcher section instead of the prepackaged section and get it wrapped in butcher paper instead of styrofoam and plastic.
  6. Buy organic food when possible
  7. Look for local foods - especially produce. Food that doesn't have to travel far to the store doesn't create as much transportation pollution.
  8. Buy foods in season.
  9. Stay out of the seasonal isle - not the seasonal produce isle, but the holiday seasonal isle. It's full of little things that you look at and say "Oh that's cute. I want it." But you don't need it. Stay out of the isle and you won't know it exists.
  10. Carpool with a friend to go shopping.
Stumble Upon Toolbar


Allison said...

Great advice.
Nice to see you back. I know, it was only 5 days and weekends don't count but I got used to reading your blog everyday. But don't feel pressure to post everyday. I just wanted to let you know you are missed.

Melissa said...

these are great tips! I'd add to buy as much as possible in bulk (sugar, oats, honey, whatever you can find; it cuts down on package waste) and to shop at a farmer's market if your grocery store doesn't have lots of local / organic choices.

Robin Shreeves said...

Allison - Thanks for missing me. I thought it might not be good to announce vacations. I know I did it back in the spring, but the more I get into being an online presence the more I want to make sure I'm keeping my family safe.

Melissa - I do buy certain things from the bulk bins like oats and raisins. My store has organic bulk bins and the food is much less expensive than if you bought the same stuff packaged.