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Grocery Shopping Hacks for Waste Reduction

1. Bring a tote bag

Avoid growing your stash of plastic bags by bringing a canvas tote or basket with you whenever you shop. There are really great options of expandable bags that can be clipped to your bag as a keychain. Alternatively, make sure to scrunch up a standard tote and keep it in the bottom of your bag!

2. Buy unpackaged vegetables/fruit

Have you ever looked out for how much packaging supermarkets use for their groceries? Either pick the unpackaged option, or go to your local market to get unpackaged fruits and vegetables. If you’re not comfortable putting them into your basket as is, bring reusable cotton produce bags. These are a great one-time investment that will save you some money and carbon footprint!

3. Go shopping more often

Rather than purchasing your entire week’s worth of food on one occasion, why not try spreading out your shopping trips so that you can shop according to need? This will save you from having to throw away perishable groceries after some time. Bonus: you can shop your food according to what you want to eat on the day!

4. Buy bulk

Buying bulk not only decreases your consumption of packaging, it can also save you some money. It’s also incredibly convenient to keep things in your pantry rather than having to purchase them as needed! This is especially effective when applied to cosmetics, which often come with lots of packaging. For foods, think dry or sealed ingredients such as pasta, chickpeas or passata!

5. Avoid receipts

Imagine all of the receipts you’ve been given that you immediately threw away after or lost somewhere in the bottom of your handbag… that’s a lot of paper!

6. Try to buy recyclable packaging

There are many foods where packaging is unavoidable. If you can, stick to cardboard and glass packaging, as these are recycled easily. However, most hard plastics can be recycled, just make sure not to buy anything with cellophane (that thin plastic that is often used to cover containers).

7. Avoid individual wrapping

While individually wrapped items can be practical to bring with you on the go, they use a lot of unnecessary packaging. Instead of buying pre-portioned snacks, a more environmentally friendly option would be to portion them yourself using little containers and Tupperware.

Happy Shopping!

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