- Bring reusable vegetable and fruit bags when you buy groceries instead of using the plastic bags made available by the store. I keep mine in my bigger reusable bags, so I always have them when I go food shopping. After a bunch of uses, I throw them in my washing machine to keep them fresh and clean. I bought a set from Crate and Barrel close to ten years ago that I love and are still great. You can purchase a set of 5 for $11.95. They are made of polyester so if you prefer natural materials, you can purchase one cotton bag for $4.95 at the Package Free Shop.
- Buy a reusable water bottle – and remember to bring it with you when you go places (that is the slightly harder part). My favorite reusable bottle is by Hydroflask. It keeps my cold smoothie cold and my hot tea hot for hours. They are durable and come in a lot of different options and colors.
- Donate to a cause – For example, 4 Ocean is a company that removes plastics from our oceans and coastlines. For $20, you can purchase a bracelet that helps finance their cleaning efforts. They also sell reusable bottles.
- Buy in bulk. Whatever you buy, look and see if they offer the same item in a bigger size. For example, if you are planning on buying rice, then buy the biggest size available. Not only are you cutting down on packaging, this tends to be the cheaper option, and you have to go to the store less often. A win-win for everyone.
- Eat local. Whether you have access to farmer’s markets only part of the year or are lucky enough to live in an area with a farmer’s market all year long, take advantage of them. There are so many benefits to eating vegetables and fruits from local farms. You are supporting your local economy. They tend to be organic farms, so they are more nutrient rich, and they use less or no pesticides, so it is good for you and the environment. They are less likely to use packaging and they are not shipping food across the country resulting in less gas and pollution. Plus, the vegetables and fruits taste amazing. Ever taste the difference between a home-grown tomato and a supermarket tomato? There is a difference.
Please leave a comment if you have other cheap and easy recommendations to help the environment.