Every time I go grocery shopping, my friends watch me flounder amongst the rows of produce, unsure of what meals I can actually cook for the upcoming week and which products to buy for the best deal. I’ve learned to accept that I’ll never be the kind of person who will efficiently enter and leave a grocery store with all my necessary goods, but I’ve compiled a list of strategies that make grocery shopping both fun and environmentally friendly!
- Carpool with a friend
Grocery shopping with a buddy has not only helped me reduce my carbon footprint, but has also given me a chance to run through the aisles and have a lively partner to debate the best brand of noodles. Odds are that if I’ve forgotten to add eggs to my shopping list, my grocery buddy will have it on theirs. Having an extra brain cell helps me remember to buy that gallon of milk for the stale breakfast cereal that’s been sitting on the kitchen counter for way too long and to avoid the guilty pleasure of midnight snacking on Doritos.
- Make a list on your phone
Gone are the days where I write my shopping list on sticky notes and crumple them into the pockets of my sweatshirt as I dash out the door. Instead, I compile all my needs throughout the week into my phone. The silver lining—if I’ve forgotten to make a new list for the week, I can just reference an old one instead of impulsively buying the nearest items!
- Invest in an insulated reusable bag
I used to just enter a grocery store empty-handed, but the other week, I watched my friend pop open his trunk and pull out an insulated reusable bag. It was so adult-like that I’ve made a mental note to invest in one. They’re great for grocery shopping, picnics, and so much more! Who can resist?
- Avoid packaged foods!
I know buying packaged food is so tempting because of the convenience. It’s hard to resist the premade spring mix salad that’s neatly boxed away, but the environmentally friendly alternative is to buy the bundle of spinach or lettuce head and cultivate your own homemade salad. An additional pro is that you get to tailor your salad by adding all the toppings you like. Don’t go for the plastic packaged alternatives; reach for that glistening vegetable. You won’t regret it.
Grocery shopping is an essential activity and a perfect opportunity to begin building good habits to help the earth out wherever we can. These are only baby steps in the right direction and I have so much more to learn. But practicing with a friend can help make all the difference!