“In Their Expert Opinion” features three bloggers who bring special expertise on living a natural lifestyle to The Clear Conscience Blog. Each month, we’ll share tips and advice on how to live a little greener from a few of our favorite experts.
By Micaela Preston, Mindful Momma
Image credit: elchesnutt via flickr
Contrary to what you may believe, you don’t need to shop at a food co-op or health food store to make greener, healthier choices for your family and the planet. You may have to change some long-established habits and be more mindful as you toss items into your cart, but these days even conventional grocery stores have many eco-friendly options.
Follow these tips to make your next trip to the grocery store as green as it can be.
BYOB – Not to sound like a broken record, but Bring Your Own Bags folks! Many stores sell inexpensive, reusable shopping bags and more durable shopping bags and produce bags are easy to find in stores and online. The hardest part is remembering to bring them into the store!
Buy in Bulk – Most grocery stores have a bulk food section where you can stock up on healthy staples like nuts, grains, beans, dried fruit and more. Buying in bulk minimizes packaging and usually costs less too. Just beware the chocolate covered temptations and don’t buy more ingredients than you can reasonably use at home.
Rethink Packaging – As you roam through the aisles, consider the packaging of the food you buy. Instead of individually packaged foods, buy a large container to split up at home. Instead of meat sold in a Styrofoam tray, get your meat wrapped in butcher paper at the meat counter. Look for packaging made with recycled content and containers that can be recycled after use.
Prioritize Organic – Buying 100% organic may not be in your budget, but you can still lessen your impact on the environment and improve the health of your family by purchasing some organic food. Focus on the “dirty dozen” produce items most likely to be contaminated with pesticides and those that your family eats most often.
Look for Local – Many grocery stores use signage to help identify locally grown or produced products. Look for local fruits and veggies, meat, dairy, honey, and even grains and baked goods! Buying local reduces energy consumption and pollution and supports your local economy.
Shop the Perimeter – The interior aisles of the store are packed with boxed, bagged, canned, jarred and frozen foods that are often highly processed and unhealthy. Stick to the perimeter of the store for healthier, more earth-friendly options.
How do you shop green at the grocery?
Disclosure: The bloggers featured in the Clear Conscience Blog “In Their Expert Opinion” series have received product samples and compensation from Watkins, Inc.