The world wastes 30% of its food, and Americans throw away up to 40% of the food they buy. While you may be doing better than your average American, there are still steps you can take to shop clean.
1. Make a List
Before you head to the store, make a list of items you plan to buy. Use the notepad on your smartphone if you really want to avoid waste, just don't try to keep it in your head. As you shop, be sure to check items off your list. This will keep you focused on buying only what you need and stop impulse purchases.
2. Buy Local
Whenever possible, do your shopping at farmers markets, farm stands, and green supermarkets that specialize in locally produced food and goods. If you shop at a major chain, look for signage that indicates a product was produced locally.
3. Shop the Bulk Section
The bulk section allows you to buy only what you need and reduces the need for packaging. Producers save resources by packaging items in bulk, which reduces waste and pollution. Moreover, this clean shopping tip will also allow you to stock your pantry with clean ingredients you need for a healthy life.
4. Buy Whole-Grain and Unbleached Products
This clean shopping tip applies to food, paper products, and clothing. Bleaching and processing anything into a white product requires unnecessary resources and chemicals. Who cares if your toilet paper or flour is not perfectly white? Not only are you preventing those chemicals from entering the environment, but also you are preventing them from entering your body.
5. Choose products with Recyclable Packaging
If you have the choice between buying a product packaged in a cardboard box and a product packaged in plastic, choose the cardboard because it can be recycled. In addition, cardboard decomposes at a much faster rate than plastic.
6. Buy in the Largest Quantity Possible
For example, if you have the option of purchasing laundry detergent in a small bottle or large container, purchase the large container. Not only do you get a discount for buying in bulk, but you consume less packaging, and will not have to return to the store as soon to replace the detergent. This clean shopping tip saves gas and prevents wasteful packaging at the same time.
7. Purchase Pump Spray Instead of Aerosols
Aerosol cans are recyclable, but not widely accepted by recyclers like plastic and glass bottles. In addition, manufacturers may use harmful chemicals to pressurize the can, which hurts the environment. Another benefit of pump spray is that you can refill the container and reuse the pump. It is better for you and the environment.
Remember, these clean shopping tips are easy to put to work for you and can have a direct impact. Simple living is a lifestyle and a choice that world can live with.