Waste is a huge environmental problem that is driving climate change. We all need to do our part to combat it. Food waste and food packaging waste is a major issue. We can be part of the solution if we adapt by grocery shopping with sustainability in mind. Here's how to reduce as much waste as possible when grocery shopping.
Buy dry foods and nut butters in bulk
We can reduce food packaging waste by buying food in bulk. Bring your own reusable containers to a bulk food store and fill them up with your dry food and nut butter purchases -- rather than using plastic bags or containers from the shop. When it comes to reusable containers for bulk purchases, glass mason jars are a great option you can reuse in many other ways. Be sure to ask a clerk to weigh your empty containers or jars so you don't get charged for their weight. A nice perk of shopping this way is it's often much less expensive than buying branded packaged products.
Buy cleaning products in bulk
Cleaning products are often purchased while grocery shopping. They can also be purchased in bulk at bulk food stores with reusable containers. Be sure to fill up non-porous and well-sealed containers with bulk cleaning products as they can be hazardous.
Shop at farmers markets
Farmers markets are great places to shop sustainably. They often sell unpackaged fruits, vegetables, nuts, baked goods and more. Farmers market foods tend to be hyper local (grown nearby) which means they have to travel less to get from farm to table than imported foods sold at grocery stores. This is a boon for the environment as food that has to travel long distances has a large carbon footprint.
Plan your meals
This point may seem a little less obvious, but meal planning is key to reducing waste when grocery shopping. You want to buy exactly what you actually need, not whatever piques your interest in the aisles of a store. If you buy something you plan to use, you'll be more likely to fully consume that product rather than let it go to waste in the fridge or cupboard. Meal planning has a lot of benefits and can help you save time, save money, avoid over and under eating, and help you meet your specific dietary requirements. Get started with meal planning with this guide.
Shop with a grocery list
This may seem unnecessary, but using a grocery list can help you reduce waste when grocery shopping. Buying exactly what you need limits food leftovers and products that spoil before you use them because you'll be less likely to impulse purchase foods or buy foods you already have at home by mistake. Many meal plans come with exact grocery shopping lists. If you want to avoid using pen on paper to make your list, use a smartphone app instead.
Bring reusable bags or a trolley
An obvious, but still great, tip is to bring reusable bags or a shopping trolley when you go grocery shopping. Invest in durable reusable bags or a structured shopping bag. Keep the bags in your vehicle or in your apartment entrance way so you remember them when it's time to go shopping.
We hope these tips help you go zero waste grocery shopping for life!
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