There are so many things to think about when you are shopping for food, like what to cook for meals and the nutritional value of the breakfast cereal you like. Greening your food shopping doesn’t have to cause additional anxiety if you implement a few of these strategies.
Pick local, organic and in-season fruit and veggies.
Local food requires less gas to get from the fields to your store and helps sustain the local economy. You can find locally grown produce at the Mid-Cape Farmer's Market, local farms or farm stands. Check out By Fresh Buy Local to find locally grown food.
If the grocery store doesn’t stock local produce, opt for organic. Organic produce involves fewer, if any, harmful chemicals during the growing process, which is better for you and the environment.
We are fortunate enough to have access to vegetables that are not in season in this region, at any time of year. But keep in mind that it takes a lot of fuel (and emissions) to ship the vegetables 1,000s of miles. SustainableTable.org provides information on what produce is in season throughout the year, or you can download an app called Locavore for your mobile phone.
Also, consider skipping red meat one day a week. Raising animals is an incredibly resource-intensive process, and it also accounts for a very large part of our carbon emissions problem.
Look for products with less packaging, or at the very least packaging that can be recycled.
Buy in bulk when you can. So instead of buying a lot of little boxes of raisins, buy a big box of raisins and put them in a reusable container.
Buy as few things in plastic as possible. Plastic is a petroleum based product and is not always fully recyclable. Choose metal, glass, or cardboard containers whenever you can, because they can be very readily recycled.
Also, pay attention to how products are packaged. Are you buying a bag of chips that is only half full, or buying a product that is packaged in a plastic bag, inside of a box, wrapped in plastic? Purchase from companies, such as Nature’s Path and Seventh Generation that are using more environmentally friendly packaging or reducing the amount of packaging in their products.
A lot of people have already bring their own shopping bags (and if you don’t already--you should!), keeping plastic bags out of the landfill, and from being made in the first place.
You can also use reusable mesh sacks for produce, even further reducing the amount of plastic produced and discarded.