How to shop sustainably
You may think you’re pretty sustainable, leading a very green life, but in all likelihood, you’re using far more plastic than you think. Remember all those iced Matcha & Maca lattes you toted around in the heat? Have you seen that junk drawer you have in your kitchen packed with plastic utensils from delivery? And that’s just the start of it.
Most of the products you buy come with an unnecessary side of plastic. Packaging materials make up the largest market for plastic today, making up nearly half of all plastic waste globally. That’s pretty scary to us.
And since we all love the planet and want to keep it as pristine as possible for future generations, we’ve decided to ditch the plastic, as much as possible. Here are our top picks, tips and tricks to avoid plastic at the grocery store or farmers market.
1. Feel tote-ally chic whilst shopping. This is the best and easiest way to reduce your plastic consumption. Swap plastic supermarket bags for a chic reusable tote. You can fit a ton in them, and they won’t hurt the planet. Pretty great, right? If you frequent the CPJ, just ask at checkout and you’ll get one of our stylish reusable bags for free. Not a regular yet? That’s ok, too. You can purchase one for €10.
2. Sack it off. One fantastic staple to always store in your reusable tote are net sacks to pop all of your fruits and vegetables into. Made from organic cotton, these zero waste bags are perfect for lugging your fruit & veg home from the supermarket to your home. They can also be put directly into the fridge, as, unlike plastic bags, they are breathable!
3. Sheer genius. While the net cotton bags are ideal for bigger items like peaches or avocados, bulk-bin items will just slip through the cracks. Bringing mason jars to the market can be heavy – particularly when you have to cycle them home – so we prefer these organic cotton gauze bags to keep our legumes, seeds or nuts safe and sound.
4. Don’t wine about it. Most wine shops will send you away with either plastic bags or cardboard crates to lug your vino home, but this is another spot where you can be sustainable. Bring your adorable wine tote with you, and you’ll never get those nasty red indents on your wrists schlepping heavy plastic bags home. Want to buy a baguette? No problem! This bag works perfectly for that too.
5. Steel the show. If you buy meat and cheese often, or prepared foods from the deli counter, you are likely leaving the store with more plastic than you could have imagined. Instead of buying the pre-packaged stuff, go to the cheesemonger or the butcher and bring your own stainless steel containers with you to pack everything up neatly.
6. Be glass half full. Strolling through the aisles of the supermarket, you’ll likely see most things packaged in plastic or cardboard, but there are a lot of items you can get that have been packed in glass instead. Opting for these instead will save you bringing more plastic home, and you can wash and reuse the jars to bring you lunch to work in!
7. Bulk up. Who needs boxes of cereal when you can fill up those cotton gauze bags with your favourite morning nibbles for cheaper? Same goes for nuts, dried beans and legumes and grains like quinoa, bulgur and rice.