Tips for creating an eco-friendly grocery shop that won’t cost you (or the planet) the earth + a few products that’ll make your supermarket shop a little greener.
Grocery shopping is one of those tasks that we have to do each week, or if you’re super organised each fortnight. I’m trying and I know many of you are too, to reduce the use of plastics in our home and strive to take note of keeping it eco-friendly while doing the weekly shop. If you want to make a little difference, you’re going to love these quick and easy eco-friendly grocery tips as well as a list of products you can easily switch up to make your weekly shop that little bit greener (and affordable too!).
1. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk means less packaging waste and fewer trips to the supermarket. This is not only good for saving you petrol, it reduces pollution and also buys you back more time in your week and saves you more coin at the checkout.
Now that I do my groceries online it’s become even easier to buy items in bulk because they are delivered straight to my kitchen, so no heavy lifting required! Family size toilet paper? Sure. Extra large bag of cat litter? Yep. Bulk meat that I can portion off at home and freeze? Definitely!
Some of my favourite bulk buy items:
2. Support Local
Look for products that are made and sourced locally. In doing this you will be supporting Australian businesses and farmers, reducing the environmental impact of overseas export and ensuring your products are fresher too!
3. Bring Your Own Produce Bags
Shop fresh fruit and veg that’s not pre-packaged in plastic, and remember if you’re shopping in-store, bring your own environmentally friendly produce bags as an alternative to using the readily available plastic produce bags in the supermarkets and fruit shops. I use these mesh produce bags that have been made from recycled plastic bottles (how cool is that?!). And I use them to sort my clothes when I travel away too, so they have many purposes.
4. Buy Refills
Minimise unnecessary waste by purchasing products that offer refillable options – you might be surprised at just how many products in your pantry and home that can be bought as refills! Any products with pump or spray lids are great items to purchase refills for.
A few products that offer convenient refills:
- Hand wash refill
- Multipurpose cleaner refill
- Microfibre mop refill
- Instant coffee refill
- Milo refill
- Salt and pepper grinder refills
5. Shop Ethical
Consumers are becoming more aware of where and how their products were made, and our local supermarkets are taking notice! Supermarket shelves are beginning to stock more and more fair trade and ethically produced products, which makes shopping ethically even easier.
Ethical products (available direct from your supermarket!):
- Organic fair trade coffee
- Free range eggs
- RSPCA approved chicken
- Fair trade chocolate
- Cruelty-free shampoo
6. Reuse/Repurpose Packaging
I love thinking up ways to reuse and repurpose the packaging that my groceries come in, and have come up with some pretty nifty solutions that have helped keep my home organised and tidy.
Here are some of my clever tips for repurposing product packaging:
- Infant formula – once empty, use the container to store headbands on in the bathroom, or spray paint and use to store toys.
- Ice cream – perfect for using as a sick bucket (do you really want your child being sick in your cooking bowl?!).
- Peanut butter – plastic container (not glass) perfect for storing screws in workshop, hairbands, bobby pins etc.
- Iced vovo – use the plastic biscuit container to sort kids hair ties and clips in bathroom drawers.
- Moccona coffee – this is a great container for reusing! You can check out how I use it as an Easter gift here.
- Tin cans – soup and baked beans tins can be reused in HEAPS of creative ways! Check out 13 Creative Uses For Tin Cans here.
7. Look For Degradable Products & Packaging
Go one step further and swap out your single-use household items for those that are degradable or compostable. I especially love that Woolworths are no longer stocking plastic straws, and now sell these trendy paper straws instead!
Here’s a few of my other favs:
- Degradable cling wrap
- Compostable bin bags
- Degradable sandwich bags
8. Buy Raw or Naked
Raw food is often cheaper, goes a lot further and has the added bonus of being naked – meaning that it’s free from packaging.
Consider buying these items in your next grocery shop:
- Popping corn kernels so you can pop your own popcorn
- Legumes (black beans, chick peas, and lentils)
- Soap bar instead of liquid soap
- This tall container or this square container for storing raw products
9. Make Your Own
A great way to reduce plastic packaging in your home (and nasty chemicals too!) is to create your own homemade cleaning and beauty products with easy DIY recipes. A lot of the ingredients can be bought in bulk from the supermarket and will last ages! I use reusable pump and spray bottles to store my cleaning and beauty products in. If you’re interested in making your own cleaning products, I have heaps available in my book The Clean Home. I also recently shared this DIY Homemade Makeup Remover recipe which my daughters and I have been using for ages now!
10. Swap Out
Reducing your carbon footprint and making more eco-friendly choices is as simple as starting to make small changes. Swap out cling wrap for lunch boxes, use white vinegar instead of fabric softener, and alternate your single-use sanitary products for Modibodi Period Underwear. Try to start small and remember that every little choice is one step closer to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
11. Buy More & Save
Did you know that Woolworths has a dedicated Bulk Buy section. I look through it each week when doing my online grocery shopping and buy excessive products that I know will keep well. This saves me money, and multiple trips to the supermarket and makes it easier for me to cut back on food wastage.
12. Plan, plan, plan!
Meal planning, shopping lists, and online grocery orders all help to reduce food wastage, prevent multiple trips to the supermarket, and allow us the time and space to implement a few of the above 11 points. For tips on how to meal plan head here – it’s a lot easier than you think!