Shop like you mean it: planet-friendly food shopping tips

Author Anna Lappe once wrote, ‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’ When walking in to a supermarket, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of purchasing decisions we need to make. While we peruse the aisles, we make decisions based on the cost of products, the nutritional value of our foods and, sometimes, based on advertising. But, not everyone stops to think about the impact food shopping can have on the planet. Often when we make decisions based on what’s best for our environment, we find they’re usually good choices for our health and wallets too.

This week, the Khoollect team has been exploring ways we can each make simple changes that could help edge our planet toward a more sustainable future. And, as we discovered, when it comes to visiting your local supermarket, there are plenty of easy ways you can make your food shopping more planet-friendly. Here are some suggestions:

  • Bring out the bags: we all forget our re-usable bags from time-to-time, so it’s handy to keep at least one in your handbag or backpack, for times when you need to pick up something on your way home. By storing your bags or baskets in an easy-to-reach spot in your house, you’re less likely to forget them. Using canvas bags will negate the need for plastic bags (which too often end up in our oceans).
  • Embrace your inner granny: don’t worry, we’re not asking you to pick up a walking frame just yet, but by taking a ‘granny trolley‘ to your supermarket, farmers market, or grocer, you’ll eliminate the need for bags altogether.
  • Make a menu: when you plan your meals for the week ahead, you’re more likely to purchase only what you’ll use, and less likely to end up with food waste. Khoollect’s Food Editor Frankie Unsworth has put together a zero-waste menu you can try out.
  • Buy loose: you know those small plastic bags you use to bundle fruit and vegetables together? When you think about it, they’re not doing a whole lot (aside from creating more wasted plastic). If you’re only buying a small amount of, say, lemons, it’s okay to put them through together at the counter without a plastic bag. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally wrapped in their own protective layers anyway. If you’re worried about your groceries getting mixed up, you could also bring small cloth bags instead. You can also use cloth bags to store items in your fridge.
  • Beware of packages: packaging is almost unavoidable, but by choosing packaged foods that favour bio-degradable wrappers, and brands that don’t use unnecessary layers of plastic, you can avoid contributing further to landfill.
  • Look locally: if you’re lucky enough to live close to a farmers market, where the food on offer comes from local farms and producers, take your canvas bags along and reduce the miles your food has to travel to get to you.
  • Eat your greens: by eating more plant-based dishes and less meat, you’re not only doing animals a favour, but you’re also reducing the demand for animal agriculture. Plus, you’re nourishing your body with all the good stuff.


Would you add any other tips to this list? Tell us in the comments below …


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Lara is Khoollect’s Creative Editor. This London-based Glaswegian is the creative behind the camer...

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