Monday, 22 June 2015

Grocery Shopping, the Reuse Way

Are you looking for a way to reduce your environmental impact? Choosing to reuse more in your day to day life is a simple step that anyone can accomplish!

Buying food is something we all have to do, but modern shopping can be quite wasteful. Here are some reuse tips to make your next trip to the grocery store a little more environmentally friendly!

Reusable shopping bags or baskets

No-sew shopping bag from
Instructables.com
Keep a stock of reusable bags or shopping baskets by your front door or in your car, so that you're never without a bag! This is one of the easiest and most common way that people reuse while grocery shopping.

Making your own bags from fabric scraps or old t-shirts are great ways to reuse. Check out this no-sew t-shirt bag tutorial, fit for even the non-craftiest readers!

You don't have to limit your reusable bags to the grocery store either. Take them anywhere you might buy something!

Reusable produce bags

Most of us wash our produce, so I say if you've only got one or two apples, why even bother with the produce bag? This is especially true for items where you won't be eating the peel, like bananas, oranges, or onions. 

If you do need a bag, mesh produce bags are so light that they won't influence the scale price of price-by-weight items. You can buy them from a lot of places, or make your own in just a few minutes with this tutorial from The Year of Less.

Buying in bulk 

Some chains and many independent stores like Earth's General Store here in Edmonton, encourage patrons to bring their own reusable containers from home, instead of using new disposable bags and containers.

Many stores don't allow reusable containers so make sure to check with staff first. Stores with gravity fed bins like the photo are more likely to be reuse-friendly because you can't put food back after taking it. This is a win for the environment, plus you can "accidentally" put too many Smarties in your bag.

Oops, too many Smarties in the bag again.
 Guess I have to buy them!
Photo credit yvetteSoler
Many bulk foods can be brought home in your own mesh produce bags (nuts, candies, etc.). They're a little harder to find, but you can also buy (or make!) reusable bags out of nylon for small or powdery items like flour or soup base. Just throw them in the wash in between uses to prevent mixing salt into your sugar!

Did you know that you can also buy a lot of household products in bulk? Shampoo, laundry detergent, liquid soap, and household cleaners are just some of the things that can be bought and stored in your own reusable containers.


These are just a few simple ways to reuse when you're grocery shopping, but there are so many more everyday ways to reuse. Share your expert tips and tricks in the comments!

- Sarah (Volunteer)

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