One of the simplest ways to be kind to both your wallet and the environment is to reduce the amount of packaging you collect. Ultimately, less wrapping equals lower costs for everything you buy. Definitely a good thing.
Here are 5 simple ways to cut down packaging in one of the key areas of your life (mine, at least – I love to eat) – grocery shopping.
- Grow your own food, wherever possible (and desirable). Not only are there health, cost and taste benefits; it doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic prior to purchase.
- Buy food from individual suppliers whenever it’s reasonable to do so. Meat from the local butcher, fish from the fishmonger and so on. You’re much more likely to get exactly what you want, at about the same price; and with far less packaging.
- Make use of the heavier, reusable shopping bags when available. This undoubtedly varies from country to country, but re-usable bags are commonly seen in stores here (usually free, or available for a nominal fee). No more stockpiling plastic bags.
- Only accept a bag when you really need one. If you’re just buying a single, small item; put it in your pocket (after paying for it, that is) rather than take yet another plastic bag.
- Re-use glass bottles. Have a go at brewing your own beer. Make your own jams and preserves. Experiment with flavoured olive oil (start with chili and garlic – mmm). Throw the empties in the bin (recycling, of course) only as a last resort.
No matter how hard you try, however, some things will always require one form of packaging or another. In these cases, try to stick to those things which can easily be broken down (in a worm farm or compost bin) or recycled. Unwaxed paper, cardboard and glass are the simplest.
These few small changes can have a real impact on your grocery bills. Give them a try.