Green(er) Shopping Tips by Shannon L. Buck

dscn17391730.jpg(This article was originally published to Y! Contributor Network on July 8th, 2009. Being green(er) can save you money in some areas.)

Green(er) Shopping Tips

Healthier Shopping Tactics

In my effort to live a greener lifestyle, I have been changing many things. Converting to this new lifestyle can take some time, but I am working diligently at it. This article is about how I have changed my shopping habits to better reflect the lifestyle that I want to live.

The first thing that I did was purchase canvas bags for shopping. Most I found for a quarter at yard sales while on my daily walks, a couple were given to me, and I purchased a few new. Stores do not care if you use canvas bags from their own business, or from a different business.

If I happen to forget to bring my canvas bags shopping with me, I use the plastic bags as trash bags, or for sending things home with others. If I purchase only a few items during times when I forget to bring my canvas bags, I request that the items are not bagged at all.

While shopping, I find myself looking more and more at the way things are packaged. For instance, I pay $3.00-$4.00 for a loaf of 100% whole grain bread. There is a cheaper brand, but that brand sports a lot more plastic packaging. In order to be less wasteful, I buy the more expensive brand.

I have also been purchasing more organic food this year. For me, this is mostly seen in my fruit and vegetable choices at this time. I have started with the thinner skinned produce, as these organic choices that I am making are more expensive.

I cannot find juice in a glass jar any more, so I rarely ever buy any at all. Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthier, anyway. I also opt for purchasing half-gallon sizes of my soy milk, even though it is cheaper to purchase two half-gallons at once. Why? Because, in order to get the discount, you have to purchase a two pack which comes with more packaging.

Purchasing food without the plastic is becoming increasingly hard. I would like to purchase organic eggs, but they come in plastic packaging. The regular egg cartons can be used to start plants, so I tend to stick with these at this time.

I did manage to find one store in my area from which I am able to purchase fruit cups in glass jars. The jars are being reused for all manner of things around here, and the fruit tastes far better than what comes in the plastic cups or the cans.

Rather than purchase cat food at Sam’s Club in the plastic buckets, I purchase another, healthier brand at Hannaford for much less money overall. This brand does not come packaged in plastic, and the cats like it better. I rarely ever purchase cat treats because my cats are convinced that, when we take a handful of food out of their food bag, it is treats. This saves money and packaging waste. I also do not generally purchase canned food for the cats.

Each time I visit the grocery store, which is not near as often as it used to be, I look for ways to be a greener shopper. This is important not only to me, but to our future as a society.

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