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Change Your Shopping Habits to Help the Environment

Updated on April 22, 2010

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.


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    • Pdxrecycler profile image

      Pdxrecycler 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I like your idea about buying in bulk. It cuts down on containers, which are energy intensive to recycle if they don't end up in the landfill!

    • aedinsy profile image

      aedinsy 7 years ago

      Great post! Never thought about going green and how we eat is so connected,...thanks!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      Poking on everybody's unconscious/mechanical habits is another great tip-offering hub you just wrote here. Isn't this great? Thank you.

    • profile image

      cosmetics 7 years ago

      wow that's something I never knew it's quite shocking really. I became a shopaholic years ago but my reasons were for myself it was quite a surprise to learn that...

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 7 years ago

      Great tips...I totally agree we can all make a difference.

      Thanks for your great hubs.



    • Ecomom profile image

      Ecomom 7 years ago from Toronto

      Couldn't agree more!

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      Hub after my own heart! It just takes a little conscious habit changing to make a big difference. Thanks!

    • ccdursina profile image

      Carolina Dursina 7 years ago from Spring Green WI

      WE can always change habits and make the wright decision for the planet!

    • Brian J Crain profile image

      Brian J Crain 7 years ago from Pleasant Hill, California

      Thank you for shareing your tips with all of us on how we can help the environment.

    • electricsky profile image

      electricsky 7 years ago from North Georgia

      Small things that would make a big impact if everyone did them. Thanks.

    • LRCBlogger profile image

      LRCBlogger 7 years ago

      all great suggestions and easy to do. None of them require a tough effort, we should all be doing them.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Great tips, it feels good to learn better and do a little better each day. thanks for the helpful hub. Peace :)

    • chirls profile image

      chirls 7 years ago from Indiana (for now)

      Great tips! Especially about the packaging - it drives me crazy when vegetables are sold on a styrofoam plate wrapped in plastic. If we all stop buying things like this with unnecessary packaging maybe we will have an impact.

    • JenDobson27 profile image

      JenDobson27 7 years ago

      It's amazing what small changes can do! Thanks for the great info.

    • entertianmentplus profile image

      entertianmentplus 7 years ago from United States

      Very good tips-thanks

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      i am in agreement with your time saving tips......thx 4 share

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderfully written hub with great tips to help yourselve and the environment. Thank you.

    • DjBryle profile image

      DjBryle 7 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Great ways to save mother earth! Thanks for sharing!

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      I should have read this BEFORE i headed out today for errands. But I did get paper bags so I guess that is a plus. Thanks for an enviromentally friendly hub, Jennifer!

    • kowality profile image

      kowality 7 years ago from Everywhere

      We can always use tips like you've given us to become more aware of our habits.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      Many grocery stores also have bins where shoppers can recycle their plastic bags. They are picked up by a company which recycles. And I like your suggestion about using our own bags. Not only is it good for the environment, but it's a much better way to carry our groceries.