Sustainable Grocery Shopping

I shared a bit about the joy of bulk shopping, how to do it, and what supplies you need. I am going to dive in a littler deeper than simply bulk shopping. I wanted to share about ways to grocery shop in a way that doesn’t impact the environment for a few reasons:

1)      Not everyone has access to bulk shopping

2)      These are actionable steps you can apply the very next time you go grocery shopping.


So, here are some tips and tricks to help make an impact (or in this case less of an impact) while grocery shopping



Shop local

Shopping local produce and goods at farmers markets or local fairs is a great way to mindfully consume goods and reduce your carbon footprint because things aren’t needing to get shipped and packaged on their way to you.

Shop the perimeter

This is a great way to eat healthy as well. Typically, items on the perimeter of a grocery store are fresh produce and minimally packaged goods.

Shop recyclable materials

When you do buy packaged groceries, look for items in recyclable packaging. For example, we buy tortilla chips that come in a recyclable bag rather than a plastic chip bag.

Bring your own containers

Did you know if you go to the bakery, deli, or meat counter they can easily put your items in a container you bring and just put the sticker on the lid? I thought it would be an issue but they didn’t even bat an eye! Those Styrofoam trays meat is packaged on are the worst, this is a way to avoid them!


Bring your own grocery bags

Easy, obvious, it’s 2019 you should be doing this.

Bring your own produce bags

Or go without the bag and wash your produce when you get home. If you want produce bags, I listed my favorite ones here.

Shop with repurposing in mind

When I buy packaged materials, I try to think of other ways I can use that packaging once it is empty. For example, our tofu comes packaged in a plastic tray. I clean out that plastic tray and use it as a palette for my paints each time. Giving things multiple uses is like recycling in your own home!


In addition to these tips its really important to weigh the different options against each other. For example, I could go to 3 different grocery stores and get maybe 30% more of my groceries plastic free. However, at that point it isn’t worth the gas to drive to all of those different stores each week. I would be doing more damage by driving around more than I would if I simply bought the packaged strawberries. Look at all your options and evaluate what will be the most effective choice for you.