How to Shop More Sustainably: Go Beyond "Bring Your Own Grocery Bag"
When our little family traveled early this year to Thailand and Bali for two months, we delighted in majestic temples, gorgeous art, kind-hearted people, and natural beauty. That wasn't all we experienced though. We were heartbroken to see the beaches covered in trash.
Guess what 90% of it was made of?
Yep, I'm talking plastic straws, plastic water bottles, plastic yogurt cups, plastic bags, plastic this, plastic that, plastic everything.
On one beach, there was so much trash in the water that we couldn't swim without being touched by plastic garbage.
By now, most of us are in the habit of remembering to bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.
Right? You're not still taking those bags from the store, are you? Please, say it isn't so.
How about when you got to the department store?
Yep, even though I get funny looks from clerks, I bring my reusable bags there too!
HOW TO REUSE PLASTIC PRODUCE BAGS
Everyone talks about plastic grocery bags.
But what about the produce department?
You know those plastic produce bags?
Guess what? They can be reused. DOZENS of times!
Here's how: When you're done with what's in them, turn them inside out.
Wipe them dry.
And then, pop them into your reusable grocery bag so you have them conveniently waiting for you the next time you go to the store.
This works with mesh bags too!
When you're ready to invest in upping your sustainability, go for some washable mesh or cotton bags. There are hundreds to choose from!
You can even use them for bulk purchases.
Just remember to look for the tare weight on the label of the bag so that you don't pay extra for the weight of the bag on those foods that are sold by the pound.
GO NEXT LEVEL WITH GLASS JARS
For more sustainable bulk purchasing, use glass jars.
Be sure to weigh the jar with the lid and write that number on the label along with the bulk bin number.
Get thrifty by reusing glass jars from pickles, peanut butter, olives, etc. or buy canning jars at a thrift store.
If you want to buy them new, I find hardware stores to have the best prices, especially at the end of summer when everyone is canning up their garden bounties.
Get more tips with my free guide: 10 Easy Fixes to Reduce Single-Use Plastic.