• Judith Newton

Going green at the grocers - Part 1.

Let's face it, love it or hate it, we've all got to do the grocery shopping. It's a very necessary part of life but how can we do it in a way that's a little more environmentally-aware? We all know that we need to take our reusable shopping bags to the supermarket these days rather than pay for the plastic ones that are not only bad for our budget but bad for the environment too! But what else can we do to make a difference when doing our weekly shop?

1. Reusable produce bags The fruit and vegetable section is usually right at the front of the store and this is one place where the plastic bag issue has yet to be addressed. You'll find plastic bags on display to put your fresh fruit and vegetables in (unless of course they're already pre-packed in plastic and that's another story, for another blog, for another day!). The good news is that there are reusable alternatives to these plastic bags that you can buy from stores like Biome or Onya. They're made from either mesh or cotton and can be washed and reused over and over again. For a start-up price of around $20 you'll never have to use plastic produce bags again - now that's winning on all counts! If you've got your craft on and have some spare fabric around your home then you can always make your own for a fraction of the price. Here's a tutorial from Wellness Mama to inspire you. https://wellnessmama.com/119222/diy-produce-bags/

2. Bread bags

Ah, fresh bread - it's got to be one of my favourites! Lots of supermarkets are diversifying their bread range to include beautiful artisan breads that we can enjoy at home. Sadly at most supermarkets a plastic bag is provided to put the breads in. However, there are alternatives! We can buy or make our own cotton bread bags, take recycled paper bags which can be used reused, bring in baking paper or even a clean cotton tea towel from home to wrap up the bread.

3. BYO Deli containers

It stands to reason that if we can BYO produce bags to the supermarket then why can't we do the same thing at the deli counter? Well, it seems in Australia our major supermarket chains are divided on this issue. As you will see in the Choice magazine article (link below), Coles and Woolworths won't accept people bringing their own containers to the deli counter, while IGA are leaving it up to customers to choose. Whatever you decide to do, if you are going to reuse your own containers, then please make sure you have sanitized them before putting your deli items in them. Spend a few minutes on google to find the best way to sanitize the containers you're going to use. You and your family's health is worth the time! https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/everyday-shopping/supermarkets/articles/reducing-waste-at-the-supermarket-with-byo-containers

Some of these ideas may make you may feel a little uncomfortable, after all not everyone does this kind of thing at the supermarket! However, I believe the more we start doing things like this, the more other people will notice, and it probably won't be too long before green practices like this become the norm.

Next week we'll continue with Part 2 in this series of "Going green at the grocers" by looking at some of the food items we buy and what choices we can make. I look forward to your comments and suggestions on other ways to be more environmentally conscious at the supermarket.

Til next time,

Judith x

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