1. Bring reusable bags. This one is of the easiest ways to reduce trash, but if you’re like many, you may forget to put the bags back in the car. So once you’re done unloading groceries, be sure to place the bags back into the car you normally take shopping. Use these bags on all shopping trips–not just the grocery store.
2. Skip produce bags. Do your bananas really need to be placed into a plastic bag? If you’re buying fruit that can be easily bruised, use a mesh bag that you can use over and over again. There are mesh bags you can purchase at most dollar stores and some grocery stores sell them. Or bring back old produce bags and reuse them.
3. Think bulk. Ever consider the amount of packaging that some of the products you buy come in? And then the waste? Ever buy plastic boxes that conveniently hold fruit and vegetables? Sure, they keep the produce safe but in many areas the plastic used for these is not recyclable. Instead, why not buy fresh from the farm and bring your own bag? Buy local eggs and use your cartons over again. Shop at the bakery and bring a cloth bag or a reusable bag for your bread. Some newer grocery stores are offering more bulk products — bring your own jars and containers and fill them up.
4. Before you buy, ask yourself — do you really need it? Sometimes the idea of buying something at a great price isn’t such a great deal for the earth or the growing amount of trash we produce.
5. Don’t buy single-serving items, which require more packaging per unit. Overpackaged offenders include frozen foods and lunch and snack items. Instead repackage them yourself in containers or baggies you can reuse.
6. Avoid disposable goods, including razors, lighters, and plastic plates. Use the real stuff including rechargeable batteries.
7. Look for multipurpose cleaners instead of buying one for each kind of surface. Or learn how to make your own cleaning items rather than buying them. We have a lot of great ideas on our site!
8. Remember recycling does work, as does composting, reusing, and a new R — REFUSE. Refuse to buy items that are over-packaged, or use that horribly earth un-friendly product, Styrofoam. Every little bit helps.
Do you have any tips that help make shopping less trashy? Do share your tips and ideas here.
Inslulated Hercules Grocery Tote
Our new Farmers' Almanac insulated shopping bag is not only earth-friendly but also hot and cold food friendly. Insulated to keep food hot or cold when transporting your perishable goods from the store to your home, this bag is a must for warmer summer months. The unique zipper feature keeps foods from spilling. Works great for the beach too!