Set the standard of sustainable shopping
Food waste represents a huge part of our carbon footprint, and the way we shop is only making that worse. Too often, we go into supermarkets buying what we want and need, without paying attention to the negative impact it may have on the environment. From the way it’s packaged, to the way it’s grown, all the little things add up to a massive effect.
That’s why we’ve come up with 7 eco-friendly shopping tips, to help bring us closer to zero-waste shopping. The difference comes from all of us, but only if each of us makes a change. So be the change with these easy-to-follow tips.
1. Use reusable shopping bags
Supermarkets encourage using recyclable bags by keeping all shopping bags out of sight or requiring you to buy one, if necessary. So, do the environment a favor and save yourself from buying another plastic bag by bringing your own. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a backpack or a tote bag will do!
2. Buy local products
By buying local, not only are you helping your local farmers and businesses, but you're also saving thousands of miles of travel that non-local produce has to go to get into your shopping basket. A lot of big companies tend to import food from places far away, simply to save a few bucks. In this process, the food has to travel through air, road, or even sea – which are all heavily polluting and do unnecessary damage to the environment.
3. Buy seasonal produce
Buying products that are out of season means that they’re coming from different parts of the world. Again, this means that they have to go through an unnecessary journey which can cause damage to the environment.
4. Ugly fruits and vegetables? Snap them up.
Okay, that potato kind of looks like it has a face, and that carrot looks like it has legs. So, what? It’s all going to taste the same when you chop it up and put it in your gratin. Supermarkets tend to dispose of a lot of ugly fruits and vegetables, which only pollutes the environment as it rots away, amongst other problems it causes. By setting a habit of buying ugly produce, and encouraging others to do so, you’re showing the supermarkets that these foods don’t need to be thrown away, and that could save the planet from so much waste.
5. Buy foods with less packaging
Supermarkets tend to add a lot of unnecessary packaging on items that don’t need it. Do those bananas really need a plastic bag? And do those oranges really need that plastic netting? They usually do that to separate the cheaper, ‘bulk buy’ produce from the more expensive ‘select-your-own’ produce. It’s better to go for the produce you can select yourself, because you can choose the best of its kind and you can buy only as much as you need. So, not only are you saving the packaging, you're also saving yourself from wasting food when it doesn’t get used. If you do buy food which requires a cover, use your own container such as the Tupperware VentSmart collection, which is specially designed to keep your fruits and vegetables fresher for longer. Alternatively, if that’s not an option for the product you’re buying, opt for packaging that is recyclable or bio-degradable.
6. Buy organic
Organic foods tend to use fewer environment-polluting pesticides, which means that they require less energy to grow and they produce less waste when they’re growing. Especially with Earth Day coming up on 22nd of April, it’s important to think about all the ways we use water, and how many ways we waste it. Organic produce tends to use fewer resources and water, especially as it doesn’t regularly need to be topped up with pesticides. It’s also been suggested that organic produce “soaks-up” CO2 in the environment, so go ahead and buy from the organic range.
7. Go shopping less
Most of us tend to go shopping in our car or by some sort of transport which creates emissions. When we shop often, we make that journey often, so we pollute the environment every time we go. Try to cut down on how many trips you make to the store by making a full list of everything you need before you go. Buy essentials in bulk, and plan meals ahead so you know exactly what ingredients you’ll need. You’ll save the environment from the unnecessary CO2, and you’ll also save yourself the hassle and fuel or travel costs.
All the small changes add up to make a big one, so start small and make that positive difference in the world today! There is no time to waste!