In this age of global warming, one of the many threats to the fragile planet is the huge mountains of garbage produced every year. Adopting just a few conscientious shopping habits can go a long way in decreasing the size of the average shopper’s carbon footprint.
ONE – Take a Sling Bag
It lasts for years and saves loads of paper and plastic bags. Buy an insulated carrier-bag for frozen products.
TWO – Don’t Buy Pre-Packed
Take along Tupperware containers to the butcher and delicatessen for meat and cheese instead of buying the pre-packed goods on the shelves to avoid all that excess packaging. Most shopkeepers would be pleased to pack their produce directly into the container to oblige their customers.
THREE – Avoid Individually Wrapped Products
Besides costing more, individually wrapped products have all that extra packaging that just ends up on the rubbish dump. Individually wrapped jam, butter or sugar sachets might look sweeter on the breakfast tray but are much less kind to the environment than a good, old fashioned pot of jam or sugar bowl. And try to give preference to materials that can easily be recycled such as paper, cardboard, glass and metal.
FOUR – The Bigger, the Better
A five pound packet of sugar uses less packaging than five one pound packets of sugar. And it costs less too!
FIVE – Buy Products With a Deposit on the Return of Container
Instead of buying a brand of beer where the can ends up in the garbage, rather go for a bottled one where the shopper receives a fixed sum on the return of the bottles. Milk, coke, fruit juice and some wines come in returnable bottles too.
SIX – Choose Refillable Products
Buying a container of washing powder or fabric softener that can be refilled once it’s empty is a lot more economical than paying for the packaging over and over again.
SEVEN – Concentrate on Concentrates
Independent research by consumer organisations has concluded that concentrated products are no less efficient than their regular counterparts – and they require less packaging!
EIGHT – Avoid Batteries as Far as Possible
All batteries are harmful to the environment so give preference to appliances that run on electricity or choose rechargeable batteries. Look out for a recycling point for old batteries in the neighbourhood.
NINE – Go for DIY
Avoid excess packaging by buying electrical cables, screws, nails and plugs straight from the hardware store and not pre-packed off the supermarket shelf. Buy only as much as is needed to avoid a cluttered up garage and to save money.
TEN – Take Own Container
Where possible, try to taking containers from home when fetching fast foods. Fast food packaging is one of the major sources of excess packaging.