Food packaging is a huge concern because of the amount of waste it generates. This waste can end up in landfills. It can also end up blowing around, littering, and even harming wildlife.
Here are some of the best ways to reduce your food packaging to protect the planet.
1. Shop with reusable grocery bags
Bring along your own cloth bags to cut down on plastic ones. Cows and other animals could die if they were to eat a plastic bag.
2. Skip the plastic bottles
Everyone knows the importance of hydration, but there’s no need for a mountain of plastic water bottles. Use a reusable, stainless steel drinking bottle instead of individual drink boxes or bottles. Skip soda and make your own soft drinks at home with a soda stream.
3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables
This will save on cans, boxes, and bags.
4. Buy in bulk at health food stores or online
If you go to the store, bring your own containers from home to eliminate the use of cans, cartons, and plastic bags.
5. Buy big boxes of cereal instead of individually packaged cereals.
6. Buy plastic bags of cereal such as oatmeal and refill your container.
7. Avoid individual "snack-sized" boxes or bags
Buy a large portion and divide it up into your own containers, or zippered food storage bags you can reuse.
8. Buy quarts of yogurt instead of smaller cups
Add your own healthy fruit and fillings instead of sugary "stir up from the bottom" varieties.
9. Use a cloth or a metal coffee filter rather than paper filters.
You will save a lot on paper filters. Use the coffee grounds as compost in your garden. Use any leftover cold coffee to water your plants.
10. Buy bulk cheese from the deli counter instead of individually wrapped slices
Bring your own container to save on plastic.
11. Make your own popsicles using reusable molds, rather than buying boxed popsicles
Use BPA-free molds. This will save on packaging, wooden sticks, and more.
12. Use metal and ceramic baking pans instead of disposable foil pans.
13. Use silicone cupcake pans instead of cupcake and muffin wrappers.
14. Use loose tea instead of tea bags
Get a tea ball, load it with tea, and use it as you would a teabag. When you are done with the leaves, use them as compost in your garden. Use any leftover cold tea to water your plants.
15. Take your packed lunch in a plastic container or Bento box or Thermos
Avoid foil, wax paper, plastic bags, and so on.
16. When hosting a party, avoid disposable items
Yes, it can be a hassle having to wash dishes and glasses, but it is better for the environment than a mountain of trash. Use stainless steel cutlery, break-resistant plates, and break-resistant glasses. Use cloth napkins. Clean up with sponges, not paper towels.
17. Bake your own cakes
This will cut down on a lot of fancy packaging.
18. Make your own granola bars
This cuts down on boxes and individual wrappers.
19. Bring your own travel mug to your coffee shop.
If you really can’t live without coffee from your local shop, bring your own travel mug. This will save on paper or Styrofoam cups, plastic lids, and so on. Bring your own small spoon for stirring.
Use as many of these tips as you can to help reduce waste.