If you’re looking to reduce your household waste, the easiest place to start is with the activities and products you use the most. For almost all of us, this means taking a good hard look at our food we buy and eat every day. To make your grocery shopping more sustainable, here are four great questions to ask yourself to kick off your greener home.
- Where is it grown or made? All grocery store items will have a country or state of origin labeled on them or on the shelf. Take a look at how far your food takes to travel to your pantry. Are there local options you could opt for instead? Consider looking for locally grown sections of the grocery store or do your produce shopping at the local farmer’s market.
- How is it packaged? Is its container recyclable? Is it wrapped in paper or multiple layers of plastic? If you really want to go waste free, search for a zero-waste grocery store in your area or use your own containers from home to get goods from the bulk section.
- What ingredients does it contain? Food labels are listed with the most abundant ingredient first and the rest in descending order. If it’s food, does it contain unsustainable ingredients like palm oil or mineral oil? When it comes to non-food items, look for fragrance-free natural options. Check out our article on picking a non-toxic sunscreen for more details!
- Could I choose better? This is the big question. Looking at all the options available, is the one you go for the most sustainable? Small easy swaps can make your grocery routine more eco-friendly. Buying whole fruit, rather than packaged slices, getting sustainably sourced coffee, or investing in a set of reusable containers in lieu of plastic wrap are all great first steps.
The pandemic has changed up our daily routines, but most of us are still reliant on our weekly trips to the grocery store. Covid-19 has taken away some of our green options like handing the barista our reusable coffee cup or bringing our own bags to the store, but there are still great ways to make your weekly errand run more sustainable!