Tips for Sustainable Grocery Shopping

In this day and age, protecting the environment has become a personal priority of mine. While it may sound overwhelming, making simple changes in our everyday lives can make a huge impact on our environment. One area that I have found very easy to make a difference in is my grocery shopping. Below I’ve listed some very simple ways to change your grocery shopping habits in order to reduce your plastic use and help the environment. 
 
1. Get some reusable straws! I have so many kinds and I never thought I’d be ~that girl~ but I’ve got them in my kitchen, my purse, my backpack, my car…and I always feel SO good when I can refuse a straw somewhere. I would recommend getting the thicker straws because they’re great for smoothies & drinks!

2. Reusable produce bags! These are so inexpensive and make all of the difference. They’re light so they won’t add any weight to your produce price. The bags also have holes so the checker can see what’s in them! I got a set of 6 and the bags are SO big I always have plenty of room for all of my produce (which, trust me, is a lot).

3. This probably comes as no surprise, but, reusable grocery bags! You can get these at any grocer and they make such a difference! Did you know that in the U.S. we average one plastic bag per day per person every year?? By reusing your own bags we can cut that number down and reduce our footprint. (Also, most stores will reward you for bringing your own bag!)

4. Buy in bulk! Not every store is going to have a bulk section but with a little research you can find ones that do! Buying in bulk will save you money & reduce your plastic use. If you can remember, bring some glass jars with you and use those to fill up (plus everything always looks cuter in mason jars!)

5. Shop the perimeter of the store. I know this one isn’t always 100% realistic but by shopping the perimeter of the store you’re shopping in all of the fresh sections. Most of these sections use less plastic than the processed foods in the center of the store. Plus, you will be buying food that is better for your body and less processed!

These are just a FEW of the ways you can make an impact but I hope they help! Even the small changes will make you feel so good. My first step in this process was purchasing the All Linen and Cotton produce bags and I get compliments on them 24/7, PLUS it makes me feel so good every time I can refuse a plastic produce bag. We all have to start somewhere and I hope this post has helped you find a place to start!
About The Author
Cara is a college student with a passion for food. Currently living in Knoxville, TN, Cara is in her last year of school studying Public Relations. Cara started @cara.cooks on Instagram to showcase her recipes using plant-based ingredients and promoting healthy lifestyles. Follow her account for tips and tricks on living a more sustainable lifestyle, recommendations, and easy to follow recipes that can be made in college and on a budget!


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