Zero-Waste Grocery Shopping

Practice sustainable supermarket strategies that help reduce your plastic and packaging waste, whether perusing the aisles or paying at the register.

By Melani Schweder
January/February 2019

If you’re planning New Year’s resolutions, consider one that can cut down on household clutter, reduce grocery bills, and shrink your carbon footprint: going zero-waste while grocery shopping. Though different from the more traditional fitness and food goals, this environmentally friendly practice has gathered more support lately, and the New Year is an effective starting point for a continuing lifestyle of sustainability.

Photo by Queren King-Orozco

Plastic on Our Planet

The last few years have witnessed an explosion in consumer passion for environmental issues. More people are taking steps to reduce their waste and are calling on companies large and small to do the same. We, as consumers, have the power to change the way business is done, specifically when it comes to plastics and other disposable packaging. And the food industry is a great place to start!

Plastic packaging, such as the kind you see on the shelves of your local grocery store, makes up approximately 40 percent of all plastic produced. And all of those plastic bags? Here in the United States, we use 100 billion plastic bags per year, only 1 percent of which are properly recycled. To make those bags, we go through 12 million barrels of oil.

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