How to Go Green at the Grocery Store

Easy tips & tricks I swear by to live more sustainably
How to Go Green at the Grocery Store

If you’re trying to reduce waste and plastic use in your home, the easiest place to start is at the grocery store. Just a few easy behavior changes can have a big environmental impact. After all, it’s all about increasing your awareness! These 6 tips are the perfect start to help you go green at the grocery store.

6 Zero Waste Tips to Help You Go Green at the Grocery Store

1. Buy open stock produce and bring reusable bags.

For us, the easiest way to embrace the zero waste lifestyle at the grocery store is buying produce in an ‘open stock’ format. For us, this means that we go to our local produce stand and selected individual pieces of fruit and vegetables. Then, we put them in these reusable produce bags. Even if your store offers compostable bags, that’s still waste IMO. Reusing bags is the best way to go if you want to be truly waste-free.

2. Skip anything packaged in plastic.

It may seem self-explanatory, but avoiding plastic can be a challenge at the grocery store. Sometimes it is entirely unavoidable. But often, plastic wrapped items are processed foods. Overall, you’ll be healthier if you eat fresh produce and anything that doesn’t come pre-packaged. It’s challenging sometimes (especially during a renovation), but makes a big impact!

3. Bring your own bags and containers.

Aside from bringing reusable cloth bags and shopping totes, you can also bring glass jars. I love upcycling glass jars from past grocery shopping trips, but you can also use these wide mouth mason jars. Just make sure to ask the store to weigh them before you fill them so that you don’t end up paying for the extra weight. Glass jars are especially great for dry goods storage like pasta, nuts, granola, and grains.

4. Shop at a farmers market or produce stand instead of a traditional grocery store.

During the summer, we’re able to ‘live greener’ because we can eat most of what we grow in our veggie garden. That doesn’t mean that I don’t loooove a good trip to the farmers market though! The best part about shopping there or at a produce stand is that everything is fresh and in season. Also, most of the time (if not all of the time) it’s locally grown! There is a huge issue of food deserts across our country, so if you are able to shop directly from the farmer, I highly encourage you to do so!

5. Only buy what you need.

Can you believe that 40% of food is wasted in the United States? That statistic is shocking and sad. I think so often when we think of going waste-free, we don’t consider that throwing away food counts. But it absolutely does! Being aware and carefully planning meals is a great way to avoid wasting food. If I’ve noticed that I’ve overbought something inadvertently, I try to use it in a way that can be frozen or I make a special treat for the chickens.

6. Say ‘no, thanks’ to the receipt.

This last zero waste tip is the easiest! Any time you’re out shopping and have the choice, always opt out of the receipt. It’s one more piece of paper that you probably don’t need. I love that more and more check outs offer the option of a printed version. That’s great if you absolutely need a receipt, like for a business transaction.

Looking for even more zero waste tips? Check out these posts:

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Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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