Keep the environment in mind when making product selections.When it comes to groceries, we are all looking to save time and money. But don’t forget about our environment. There are simple steps you can take to shop green when selecting products:
- Follow your grocery list to help avoid impulsive purchases.
- Pick less than perfect produce – it tastes the same and can avoid unnecessary food waste at the grocery store.
- Try methods for making coffee and tea that reduce waste:
- loose teas,
- French presses, and
- reusable coffee filters/pods.
- Limit buying aerosol sprays.
- Keep your kitchen and refrigerator clean with natural cleaners.
- Check the expiration, sell, and use by dates and know the true-life cycle of food, as many of those dates are just “suggested” guides.
- If you consume a lot of a particular item, buy it in bulk. Don’t buy more than you need unless you can use the ingredients before they go bad or can freeze them for later. Some stores offer a bulk refill section for pantry staples like grains and coffee. Choosing refillable options, when possible, helps to cut down on packaging waste.
- Look for minimally packaged items.
- Choose snacks with little or no packaging. Oranges, nuts, apples, etc.
- Minimize the amount of meat that you eat – especially beef. You will help to limit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which occurs in the cattle industry.
- Bring your own reusable bags. This helps avoid potential paper bag fees at the checkout and it also helps reduce waste. Keep your reusable bags in a handy spot at home or car so you don’t forget them.
- Bring your own reusable produce bags too.
DEC provides additional information on how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost.
Did you know that?
- Paper receipts cannot be recycled and need to be disposed of in the trash. If there is the option, opt for digital receipts when shopping.
- Prior to 2020, in New York State, over 23 billion plastic bags were typically used each year. This bag waste reduction law has helped address issues caused from plastic bags. You’re less likely to see plastic bags stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, or floating in our waterways. Plastic bags also pose harm to wildlife.
- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Returnable Container Act (RCA) – also known as the “Bottle Bill.” Under this act, roadside container litter has been reduced by 70%. In 2020, the act helped to recycle 5.5 billion plastic, glass, and aluminum beverage containers totaling 241,505 tons at no cost to local governments.