Sustainable Grocery Shopping (Plastic-Free)
Do you know that food waste is environmentally catastrophic?
If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the USA.
Food waste is really, really bad for the environment. It takes a land mass larger than China to grow the food each year that is ultimately never eaten – land that has been deforested, species that have been driven to extinction, indigenous populations that have been move, soil that has been degraded – all to produce food that we then just throw away. In addition, food that is never eaten accounts for 25% of all fresh water consumption globally.
Moreover, when food waste goes to landfill, which is where the vast majority ends up, it decomposes without access to oxygen and creates methane, which is 23x more deadly than carbon dioxide.
TOP 5 WAYS TO CUT DOWN ON FOOD WASTE
- Don’t over buy. Keep track of what you’ve bought and used.
- Plan ahead. Think about what you’re going to cook and how you’ll use the leftovers.
- Use your fridge wisely. Some foods keep better outside the fridge. This includes bread (keep it in a cool dark place like a bread bin or cupboard), bananas, pineapples, potatoes and onions.
- Check your fridge temperature. It should be between 0-5C. Food, especially milk, will go off much quicker if it’s warmer.
- Measure your portions. Reduce waste by cooking only the amount you need. Measuring takes away the guesswork and makes it more likely you’ll get the right amount.
- Sauces and dips. Lots of leftovers can be made into sauces or dips. For instance, slightly over-ripe avocados are great for guacamole, and tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers which need using can go into home-made salsa.
- Love your freezer. Use your weekends to batch-cook and freeze.
- Try to buy local, so that your food doesn’t have to travel the world so you can consume it, and you are supporting your area.
- Go strawless! There’s a lot of reusable and zero waste straws you can use instead.
- Bring your own utensils when getting take away food, you will reduce a lot of plastic.
- Try to shop in bulk to reduce plastic waste.
- Opt for a paper bag-wrapped products and avoid plastic.
10 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC OF YOUR LIFE
- Carry a reusable bottle. Carrying your own bottle will help stop this waste and will also help saving you money.
- Say no to plastic straws.
- Avoid disposable cutlery. Carry a set of reusable cutlery with you to avoid single-use plastic alternatives.
- Carry a reusable coffee cup. By purchasing a reusable cup, coffee drinkers can help to stop this stream of non-recyclable waste. Major coffee shop chains such as Pret A Manger will offer a significant discount to people using their own cup.
- Avoid excessive food packaging. Taking reusable carrier bags to the supermarket is just the first step in reducing plastic use when shopping.
- Use canvas bags for carrying vegetables. Take extra canvas bags to carry their loose fruit and vegetables,
- Use reusable household items. Those who take a lunchbox to work should consider taking reusable sandwich bags. Instead of using clingfilm use a Tupperware, or glass container and try swapping your regular toothbrush for a bamboo alternative.
- Buy bar soap and shampoo. Opt for bars of soap and shampoo rather than plastic contained alternatives.
- Recycle more efficiently. Educate yourself on your council’s recycling policies and methods.