5 Eco-friendly Grocery Shopping Tips
It’s officially 2019! A brand new year, and the perfect time to buckle down, reflect on 2018 and plan for a bright year ahead. On a journey to have a more minimalist waste lifestyle, I’ve decided to start with my grocery list, and how I can make all of my grocery shopping trips less wasteful. So, please read on if you want to know 5 tips I’ve curated to shop for your groceries in a more sustainable manner!
Shopping for groceries is inevitable. We all need to eat and we can’t live off of take out for the rest of our lives, so I thought I’d share some tips on how you can go grocery shopping in a sustainable manner with 5 easy tips.
With the growing awareness of plastic waste, there are many alternatives for grocery shopping now that create little waste. Here are a few simple tips as well as store recommendations in Canada.
1. Bring your own reusable bags
This one is pretty easy and you’ve probably heard it a million times, but sometimes we forget to take bags or sometimes you may have impromptu shopping trips on your way home from work and don’t have a bag. To ensure you are always prepared, leave one or two in your car trunk at all times, carry a bigger purse or begin carrying them in your purse. There are actually small reusable bags that can fold up and become the size of the palm of your hand. These are my favourite since they are small enough to throw in your backpack or purse without taking up too much room. If you do have to purchase a bag, ask your cashier for a brown paper bag. If they don’t have either of these options and you’re left to use a plastic bag, make sure to reuse that plastic bag and carry that in your purse, car or bag for next time.
Some Sustainable Reusable Bags:
ChicoBag Reusable Produce Bags ~ $22.49 for 3
ChicoBag Recycled rePETe Produce Bags ~ $16.19 for 3
ECOBAGS String Bag Organic Cotton Long ~ $8.99 for 1. Those trendy net produce bags that became all the rage.
Grocery Shopper Gift & Starter Set ~ $45.99 for an entire set of varying sizes. A total of 9 bags!
Reusable bags from the Grocery store
2. Shop at Bulk Food stores
Shopping at bulk food stores are usually easier on the wallet, and they provide the option of bringing your own jars to fill up. This eliminates the use of plastic packaging for various dried and bulk foods. Some stores, such as Bulk Barn or The Soap Dispensary, even have peanut butter and coconut oil that you can purchase. You pay per gram. If you’re worried about adding the weight of your jar to the total amount, dont’! When you arrive, speak to the cashier and have all of your jars weighed. They write the weight either on the lid or with a label and minus this amount from the total.
Not only is this option a great way to reduce the amount packaging waste, but it also makes for a pinterest~esque looking cupboard. Who wouldn’t want that? I’ve added some kitchen mason jar organization inspo below to get your as excited about this as I am.
Some Bulk Food Stores In Canada:
Bulk Barn ~ Canada wide
The Soap Dispensary ~ Vancouver
Bulk Heaven ~ Toronto
3. Shop at a Zero Waste Grocery Stores
A what? Zero waste grocery store…do those even exist?
Yes, yes they do! These stores are redefining what it means to go grocery shopping by only carrying products that have no packaging. How cool is that? I think we get so used to the easy, efficient ways of grocery shopping, so seeing physical stores like these pop up makes us think about the way we go grocery shopping.
There aren’t many, but here are some of the stores in Canada:
Nu Grocery Ottawa ~ Ottawa
Nada Grocery ~ Vancouver
Epicerie Loco ~ Montreal
4. Shop locally
This can mean shopping directly from the farmers at a farmers market, which would be the most sustainable, or shopping for produce at the grocery store labelled with the country or nearby city/town that you live in.
By shopping from local farmers, you know exactly where your produce is coming from, you can ask them about any pesticides or herbicides they’ve used (usually none) and you are supporting a local business.
Also, By shopping from local suppliers, you are purchasing produce that doesn’t have to travel across the world in a plane or train, which reduces the amount of fuel and green house gas emissions being emitted into the atmosphere.
5. Shop In Season fruits and Vegetables
Shopping for produce that is in season has a similar reason to the previous tip. This is because when you shop for out of season produce, it has to come from another part of the world, since the country you live in can’t grow it during that season.
Seasonal Produce In Canada
Fall Produce ~ apples, artichokes, arugula, beets, broccoli, corn, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, celery root, cauliflower, cranberries, chiles, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapes, kales, lemongrass, leeks, lettuce, limes, mushrooms, parsnips, onions, pears, peppers, persimmons, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins, radicchio, radishes, spinach, sweet potatoes, squash, rapini, zucchini
Winter Produce ~ beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, chard, clementines, collards, fennel, kale, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, squash, turnips,
Spring Produce ~ arugula, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, chard, collards, fennel, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, salad greens, spinach, strawberries
Summer Produce ~ apples, apricots, blueberries, beets, blackberries, currents, cherries, corn, cucumber, cauliflower, carrots, celery, eggplant, grapes, green onions, kale, mango, nectarine, parsnips, pears, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, salad greens, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it provided some inspiration for your next grocery trip!
All photos sourced from Unsplash and Canva
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