When shopping for groceries, it is easy to get caught up with all the bright colors and convenient packaging that they place in front of you. But the truth is all of that pretty packaging usually just ends up in your garbage bin a couple of days after you go home with it. After that, it goes straight to the landfills to provide last meals for local birds and scavenging animals. In fact, we dump so much trash, that even the oceans are feeling the pinch. The Great Pacific Garbage patch is an example of the humongous ocean regions that are piling up with trash. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping to lower your amount of waste.
Stop and think
It’s not easy to have zero waste while you are shopping. The important thing to remember is to stop and think about your choices. Only make purchases that you need. Zero waste spans to food as well as industrial waste. Consider going to specialty stores and farmers markets when possible. It will help you reduce the temptation of buying things with plastic on them. Try to confine all of your shopping to once or twice a week.
Buy reusable cotton bags
Use reusable cotton bags when shopping. These bags last a long time and are reusable. Make sure that you keep a couple of bags with you at all times. That way, even if you stop at the store on a whim you don’t have to give in to plastic.
Buy milk and other beverages that come in glass bottles
Shopping is thirsty work and the urge to pick up a soda or some fizzy drink can be strong. It is vital to fight this urge. Unless you are planning on using the bottle for something else it will probably end up in a landfill. Yes. Even recycled products can end up in landfills. Instead of getting drinks bottled in plastic, opt instead for products packaged in glass.
Depending on where you live you can get reimbursed for returning the glass bottle back to the manufacturer. Similarly, your milk supply can come in glass bottles as well, and be returned to the delivery boy or vendor once empty. It is not only cheaper, but also an environmentally friendly way to go about things.
Just say no
Making the decision to become zero waste is a big commitment. A commitment that will be tested at every turn. You will have to learn to say no to some products.
Make food from scratch
It was a good thing you said no to those chocolate chip cookies wrapped in death. You can just make your own. Making your own food from scratch is one of the ways you can control what you are eating as well as cutting down on grocery waste. Simply bring reusable containers with you to the store.