Earth911 is honoring the 52 years of Earth Day with 52 Actions for the Earth. Every week by Earth Day 2023, we are going to share an motion you possibly can take to invest in the Earth and make your personal life extra sustainable. Containers and packaging make up almost a 3rd of municipal stable waste, and a whole lot of that third comes from meals packaging. This week, you possibly can take motion for the Earth by purchasing the majority bins at your grocery retailer.
Motion: Store the Bulk Bins
Though it’s arduous to seek out dependable statistics on how a lot packaging waste is restricted to meals, there’s no query that it’s a good portion. Plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper are all used to bundle meals; in lots of instances, all in the identical merchandise. Every of those supplies consumes water, power, and chemical compounds to provide. Most food packaging is designed to be single use, and a whole lot of it’s not recyclable or hard to recycle. Unrecycled plastic packaging contributes to plastic pollution and leaches chemical compounds. Meals packaging has an enormous environmental footprint.
Whereas scientists pursue attainable options like bioplastics and edible packaging, shoppers can scale back their meals packaging waste by merely shopping for much less packaged meals. While you’ve already eradicated as many ready meals out of your grocery listing as you possibly can, you possibly can additional reduce down on packaging by shopping for your staples in bulk. Shopping for meals in bulk is an effective method to get rid of food waste similtaneously packaging waste (and it may get monetary savings too). However it does take some effort and there’s a studying curve for those who haven’t shopped the majority bins earlier than.
Many a well-meaning shopper has arrived within the bulk aisle empty-handed. Most shops could have empty containers on the market. However they’re normally both made from the plastic you’re making an attempt to keep away from or are overpriced Instagram-ready containers that may not be fully sensible. The primary time you purchase one thing in bulk, it may be complicated to determine weigh and label your purchases so that you simply pay the correct amount on the register. Somewhat than making a whole change to bulk staples, which will be costly and end in a group of containers that don’t actually work in your cupboards, it may be simpler to make a gradual shift.
This week, choose one staple merchandise to purchase in bulk. Selecting one thing like pasta may be simpler than probably messy gadgets like flour or olive oil. However you can additionally simply select no matter you’re at present out of. Earlier than you head to the grocery retailer, discover or purchase a right-sized container. Meaning one that matches in your cabinets and in addition holds a practical quantity of the meals that received’t go unhealthy earlier than you employ it up or run out earlier than the tip of the week. Put a clean label on the container and place it in your reusable purchasing bag to convey with you once you go to the shop. On the retailer, keep in mind to get the tare weight of your container earlier than you fill it up. Get the merchandise quantity off the majority bin and write it in your label earlier than you head to the register.
When you’re used to the routine of packing a container and know discover and use the scales and labels at your grocery retailer, it’s simple so as to add extra gadgets to your bulk purchasing listing. Ultimately, you would possibly uncover that you simply don’t even want to go to the packaged meals aisles within the grocery retailer.