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Change Your Shopping Habits to Help the Environment
There are so many little ways that you can help the environment. Because we all have to shop (you do like to eat right?) then I figured we should start there. Many people think there isn't anything they can do to save the planet, but I am here to tell you there are plenty of ways you can help the environment, just by doing your regular shopping.
First, start a list. When you think of something you need don't just run out and get it. Chances are good you will hop in your car to go to the grocery store, which uses gasoline and pollutes the environment. Shop once a week for groceries and less than that for clothes and other items. In between shops, keep a running list of the things you need and get them the next time you go.
Second, when you do go shopping, combine as many errands as you can in one loop route. For me the post office, bank and grocery store are all on the same corner. I take care of all of that business on the same trip rather than three different trips.
Third, when you are choosing your items buying in bulk will usually save a lot of packaging. The smaller packages use almost as much material as the larger ones. Rather than buy two smaller boxes, buy one larger one. Another thing to consider is how often you buy that item. If you need to go to the store every few days for milk, buy more milk at once so that you can extend the length of time between trips. Another thing to look for is either packaging that is made of recycled materials or can be recycled. Also, keep in mind that real food doesn't come in packaging. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be placed directly in your cart many times, so don't automatically grab a bag.
Fourth, at the checkout counter use your own bags. Almost every store I walk in carries some and you can purchase a few for $1 each in most cases. Also, use whatever you have around the house. I was surprised at how many cloth bags we already owned. These bags hold a lot of food and can be used over and over again. If you don't have your own bags, at the very least request paper bags, they too hold more and they also break down in landfills, unlike the plastic bags.
Fifth, if it can be bought second hand, look there first. There are thrift stores and garage sales all over. The chances are good that you can find what you need on the second hand market. This prevents that item from heading to a landfill AND it prevents new materials from being used to make a new one.
See how easy this is? Four simple steps to help the environment all while doing something you do each week anyway. It doesn't get much easier than that.