Are you ready to move beyond just saying no to the plastic grocery bags at checkout when you shop? There are SO many other ways you can skip the plastic at the grocery store if you take the time to think about it. I’ve been uber-conscious lately of all the grocery products that are typically packaged in plastic and trying to switch to ‘better’ containers when I buy things.
The arguments against plastic are many: it is made from a non-renewable resource, the production process creates pollution, it can leach chemicals into your food, it never truly biodegrades and there’s a big, ugly mass of it sitting in middle of the ocean.
Keep your eyes out in the store – even in categories that are usually packaged in plastic (like juice for instance), you can almost always find alternatives:
Glass– it’s easily recyclable and can be reused in your home for so many things.
- Peanut Butter– Maranatha and Arrowhead Mills are both brands that come in glass.
- Mayo, salsa and other condiments– Most conventional brands come in plastic jars but some, like Spectrum and Newman’s Own come in glass jars.
- Juice – Knudson and Santa Cruz Organics use glass instead of plastic.
- Pasta Sauce – It’s especially important to buy tomato products in glass. The natural acid in tomatoes makes leaching from plastic jars a big problem.
- Oils – Olive oil is commonly sold in glass, while most other oils are usually sold in plastic. Spectrum uses glass for all cooking oils.
- Milk – You might need to make a deposit on a glass container but bringing it back to be refilled is double good for the planet!
Paper or Cardboard – Recyclable in most areas. Paper made with recycled content is best of course!
- Meats– Buy straight from the meat counter wrapped in butcher paper and you’ll skip the styrofoam tray and the plastic wrap.
- Pasta– Pick the cardboard box instead of that crinkly plastic bag.
- Milk – Paper milk cartons are recyclable in many areas.
- Bread – Fresh bread from the bakery usually comes in a paper bag – and there’s no comparison to the plastic wrapped version.
Better yet – make your own, homemade version of many of these foods and skip the packaging altogether!
Can you think of any other food items that traditionally involve plastic packaging – and a plastic-free alternative? No doubt I’ve forgotten a few!