When you think about making your grocery shopping routine more “sustainable,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of the types of bags you bring along: canvas totes or recycled plastic bags? Do you consider the amount of plastic waste you might accrue by using plastic produce bags in the store versus bringing mason jars or small cloth bags? What about whether or not the items on your list come with a lot of unnecessary plastic packaging? Chances are, if you’re a Green Monster, all of these questions and considerations have crossed your mind before you set out for your weekly shopping trip.
But has it ever occurred to you that what you put in your grocery bags might just play a larger role in the sustainability of your shopping trip than the actual bags themselves? Being mindful of the bags you bring to the grocery store is important – every reusable bag you bring keeps a plastic one out of a landfill! But it turns out really reducing your impact on the planet has more to do with the foods you choose and less about the bags they come in.
Every single item we purchase at the grocery store represents an expenditure of land, water and energy resources that were used to make it all possible. Certain foods require more land and water resources than others, so by breaking down which foods are the most resource intensive we can make better choices to create a more sustainable diet.
Given the fact that we’re already using around one and a half Earth’s worth of resources to accommodate our current diets and lifestyles (*cough* meat and cheese lovers *cough*), and the fact that the human population is set to reach nine billion by 2050, we could all stand to lighten our resource load.
So Green Monsters, who’s hungry for a more a conscious diet? Let’s dig in:
A Truly Sustainable Grocery Bag
Choosing more plant-based, whole food options when you shop is the best way to make sure your grocery bag is truly sustainable, inside and out. Did you know that if you just leave meat off your shopping list, you can half your personal carbon footprint. If everyone in the U.S. opted to eat lentils and tofu instead of meat, we could redirect enough grain resources to feed 1.4 billion people. As our world expands and we struggle to feed more and more people in need, it seems like the best option for everyone is to adopt a diet that has the smallest footprint possible, a plant-based diet.
So check out the #EatForThePlanet campaign and get planning your next shopping trip! You won’t regret it!
Lead image source: Dean Hochman/Flickr