At the Store
Shopping BagsThe next time you are at the store and hear the question: “Paper or plastic?” wouldn’t it be great if you could say with confidence: “Neither, thank you!”
Free plastic shopping bags are a major source of pollution in our landfill and our waterways. While many consider them free trash bags, most still end up as waste and that’s a problem.
Animals mistake plastic pieces for food and many die or choke to death. Made from non-renewable resources like petroleum, flimsy plastic bags have polluted our streams and oceans to the extent that California has banned them altogether. China got rid of them and in Europe you have to pay for them at the store. The solution: BYOB or Bring Your Own Bags. Canvas bags and plastic bags made from recycled plastic are available for purchase everywhere these days. Keep some in your trunk or purchase a lightweight canvas version to keep in your purse. If you have to choose between plastic or paper, choose paper and recycle them. If you already have a stash of plastic bags collected, bring them to your supermarket and look for a recycling bin designated for shopping bags.
Forget plastic trash bagsIf you put your garbage in a plastic bag it will not decompose until the bag does, probably not for over 100 years! Buy compostable bags instead.
Buy products made from recycled materials. At the supermarket, look for products that have recycled contents like trash bags, aluminum foil or plastic storage bags. Many items have an environmentally friendly ‘cousin’ that looks the same and works the same but was produced with much less energy and material. Recycled toilet paper, for example, is paper made from paper and not trees. Just asking for environmentally sound products will help the managers to respond to stock more of the greener items.
Shop Local Head over to your favorite farmers' market, where the products have only traveled a few miles versus the average 1,500 miles that food travels from farm to plate.
Did you know that 40% of all food in the United States will never be eaten according to The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)? Reduce waste by making meal plans and compost your food waste whenever possible.