Preparing home-cooked, healthy meals starts at the shop. Food products can be purchased at numerous locations, including grocery stores and farmers’ markets. As a consumer, it is important to keep your sustainability lens on during your visits to the store.
How much plastic are you purchasing and bringing into your home?
Think about all of the food items—vegetables, grains, sauces, condiments, to name a few— that you put into your cart during each visit to the grocery store, and think about how much of your trash ends up by the street on garbage day. The average consumer buys most of their groceries wrapped in some type of plastic, paper, or other material.
How can you reduce your plastic consumption at the grocery store?
The best way to reduce your plastic consumption at the grocery store is by changing your behaviour slowly and increasingly over time. If you are a newbie to living plastic-free, start by eliminating 25% of your plastic consumption and looking for produce in the package-free section of the grocery store. If you’re purchasing vegetables that need to be put into a bag, try using the paper bags available for mushrooms if the option is available.
- Bring your own linen baggies for produce.
- Purchase your fruit and vegetables with no packaging.
- Bring your own jars to put bulk items in. (When this service is available)
- Purchase your products at locations where less packaging is used or find alternatives i.e. homemade almond milk or cow’s milk from a local farmer in a glass jar (E.g. Fox Hill Cheese, Wolfville N.S.).
- Save glass jars for future bulk purchases or to use as a container for homemade alternatives.
Products that can be made homemade in an effort to reduce plastic consumption
Don’t be afraid to be known as the “peanut butter girl” at your favourite local bulk store when you’re filling up your jar every week!