How to Go Grocery Shopping Sustainably

Going zero-waste might be the right thing to do for the planet, but it is certainly not the easiest to accomplish. Almost every grocery store you visit will have food packaged and stored behind layers and layers of plastic. Most foods are produced with high carbon emissions. It costs both your wallet and the planet way more than it should.

Practicing sustainable measures while grocery shopping is the only solution to this lifestyle problem that impacts Earth as much as it impacts us. To make your journey towards a sustainable life more accessible, there are 8 tips you can follow. Let’s dive in.

1. Bring Your Own Reusable Bags

Statistics suggest that nearly 40% of all the plastic produced every year is single-use plastic used for packaging. This kind of plastic is really difficult to recycle as it gets tangled in the machinery and interferes with robotic sensors used in the recycling process. Their obvious fate is ending up in landfills and water bodies where they have detrimental impacts on the environment.

Each time you purchase something that uses single-use plastics, you contribute to the growing plastic crisis. Bringing your own grocery shopping bags really pays off in this scenario. If you resolve to bring your own reusable bags and containers, you can say “no” to single-use plastic every time while grocery shopping. With a few storage and organization tips, incorporating reusable bags and containers into your life can be easy as pie.

2. Buy Loose Produce

While we’re on the topic of plastic packaging, you should know that using reusable bags only works when you buy loose produce. Putting a container of packaged vegetables or meat in your tote bag defeats the purpose. You are still creating significant plastic waste. To prevent this, visit stores that contain fresh, unwrapped foods.

Buying loose produce helps you control the amount you want to buy and save money in the process. In organic stores, you will find a wide range of loose products — fruits, vegetables, spices, pasta, cereals, rice, biscuits, and much more! In a supermarket, however, most of these products will be wrapped in plastic.

3. Steer Clear of Processed Food

How much do you pay for packets of chips, biscuits, or cookies per month? $20? $50? More? Try spending that amount on buying whole, raw ingredients. You’ll easily make twice as much food that’s thrice as healthy!

It’s called “shopping the perimeter”. When you shop the perimeter, you buy your cheese and pasta separately instead of buying a box of microwaveable mac and cheese. Better yet, make your own pasta from scratch!

Processed food comes with a lot of drawbacks: huge carbon footprint, higher costs, loss of nutrients, unhealthy additives, and excessive packaging, just to name a few. These impair your health, tarnish the environment, and snowball your grocery bill. You can live a much healthier life by sacrificing snacks and easy food options for more healthy recipes.

4. Opt for a Plant-Based Diet

Does making your own pasta sound like an odious task to you? Were you thinking of veering towards meat more? If so, think twice! Eating a predominantly animal-based diet can be even more detrimental than eating overly processed food.

Plant-based foods have a smaller carbon-footprint. Most animal-based foods are way more resource intensive and harmful for the environment. A study found that beef production requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more greenhouse gas than common plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas and lentils. Chicken and pork require thrice the amount of resources as plants.

5. Read the Labels

Labels can reveal so many secrets about how the food is produced and the impact it has on the environment. Not all processed food and meat out there hurts the planet. Some of it is responsibly and consciously produced. Certain food labels can certify that. Lookout for trustable certifications like Fair Trade, American Grassfed, Organic, Bird Friendly, Animal Welfare Approved, Safe Catch, BPI Compostable, Non-GMO, and so on. Eat responsibly!

6. Shop Local and In-Season

Food can have a high emission tag if it is transported from somewhere far away or exported from another part of the world. This is often the case when we try to eat fruits or vegetables that are not in season. This means more energy consumption, higher carbon emission, and outrageous prices.

If you eat what is locally grown around you, you consume food with negligible carbon emissions and low prices. Shopping from your local farmers’ market is a great way to start.

7. Know Your Plastics

Sometimes, purchasing items with plastic packaging is unavoidable if you do not have any plastic-free alternatives at your local grocery stores. In such dire scenarios, check the plastic resin identification number. It’ll be a small code inside of a triangle. This symbol reveals which type of plastic is used to make a packaging material.

Always go for HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics since they are more easily recyclable than other kinds of plastic. Learn more about recycling and upcycling to keep yourself updated about ways you can repurpose plastic containers.

8. Always Carry a List and Never Go In Hungry

Going grocery shopping without a list is how you get confused. Going in hungry is how you lose focus and self-control. The result is buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need. Overbuying leads to food wastage. Annually, Americans waste 30-40% of the US food supply. You sure don’t want to contribute to this number.

Happy Shopping!

If you’re already living a pretty sustainable lifestyle, the above tips will only add to it. And if your next grocery trip is going to be your first attempt at being sustainable, following these tips will make for an effortless transition into this lifestyle. Either way, more power to you!

Author Bio:

Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.

Money Saving Home Decorating Ideas By Lubna Ali Khan

1~ You can always go out in your backyard to find beautiful things like cones or flowers and bring them in your home to add a beautiful and natural feel to the room.


2~ A room’s floors can add to its beauty because floors are an important element. Redoing hardwood floors can be very expensive so you can place rugs or carpets instead. They create a sense of warmth and coziness in the room. You can look for amazing overdyed rugs for sale and pick the ones that are the best match for your home.


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3~ Decorate with affordable toss pillows. Toss pillows are relatively affordable and the right pattern and color can really add an impact to your space.


4~ You can look in magazines or on the web to find a room that speaks to you. You can choose picture of a high end room and then mimic that in your space. Look at all the details of the room that you like and recreate those details in your space by going to inexpensive and budget friendly stores. Look at the placement and execute your design.


5~ Make sure that those budget friendly things are not low on quality. The last thing you want for your home is to look like you have designed it with a bunch of second hand items. Plus it won’t come together like you want it to.


6~ Calender’s are an excellent budget friendly way to get artwork in your home. Basically they’re printed on quality paper and they look good when framed. You can get inexpensive frames from yard sales, discount stores or thrift shops. If they look old then you can always paint them a nice color to give them a fresh new look.


7~ Take your time and don’t feel like you have to rush in and design your home all at once. If you do that you won’t be happy with it because you rushed into it.


8~ Take your old furniture pieces that are worn out but are in a great condition and paint them white to make them refresh and new again. Painting anything white totally brightens up the room.


9~ If you don’t have the time and money to spend on curtains then you can take some spare bed sheets and make curtains out of them.


10~ If you keep your eye out then you can get really good deals on furniture. You can go to auctions, yard sales or garage sales to buy inexpensive furniture or decorating items.


11~ You can make your own picture frames by repainting old frames and gluing pearls or beads on them to make them more sparkly and pretty.


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12~ If you’re tired and bored of looking at the same sofas everyday then instead of buying a new sofa set or dining chairs you can simply change the fabric as the trends change over time. This is an inexpensive way to make your home look completely different and better.

Author Bio: This article was written by Lubna Ali Khan. She is passionate about home improvement, beauty, arts, writing, healthy living and entrepreneurship. She blogs at alrug