Grocery shopping just isn’t something we can avoid, and these days it seems like we find ourselves there several times a week. But the grocery store can be a difficult place to maintain sustainability when everything is prepackaged, wrapped in plastic, and designed for single use. At Marley’s Monsters, we have brainstormed ways to reduce waste and host a product line with this exact situation in mind. Here are some tips and tricks for staying sustainable at the grocery store.
Bring your own bag. Single use plastic bags are commonplace at the grocery store, however, they inevitably end up at landfills or as pollution, causing serious harm to wildlife and their environments. Ditch single use plastic bags and keep a few totes in your trunk for easy access on grocery runs. Try a Market Triangle Tote Bag, large enough to fit plenty of groceries and sturdy enough to support all your goodies. As well, when buying dry goods, try to buy in bulk and skip the single use plastic bags. Opt for organic unbleached cotton Bento Bags, secured with a Japanese tie closure, they’re the perfect alternative for storing bulk items like beans, flour, or pasta.
2. Pitch the Pods
You might be surprised, but despite the convenience, single use coffee pods are actually quite difficult to recycle since they are made from a variety of materials that first need to be separated. Thus, they tend to end up as trash rather than being properly disposed of. Instead of the plastic pods, try our 100% Organic Unbleached Linen Reusable Coffee Filters, available in basket or cone shape. Before first use, we recommend boiling the filters for 10 minutes to prepare them for your coffee ritual. To brew, place one Reusable Filter inside the drip coffee cone of your choice, and fill with desired amount of ground coffee. Pour boiling water over the grounds. Then, empty grounds from the filter after use, rinse, and hang dry. You can store your filters in water in the fridge, or freezer for prolonged freshness. Simply boil the filters periodically to clean.
3. Toss the Tea Bags
Similarly to coffee pods, tea bags are well liked for the convenience of a quick brew. However, not only is prepackaged tea not very fresh, it produces a lot of plastic and cardboard waste. Plus, tea bags are often cosmetically bleached, contain nanoplastics, and can be stained with glue from production. Luckily, it is cheaper, tastier, and healthier to invest in Reusable Tea Bags made of Organic Linen. Just like the coffee filters, we recommend boiling tea bags for 10 minutes to prepare them for use. Once prepared, unfold the Reusable Tea Bag and fill with the desired amount of dry tea herbs. Refold the bag and submerge in hot water, steep as desired. Empty after use, rinse and hang dry.
4. Pass on the Paper Towels
While they are compostable, traditional paper towels are not recyclable. They contribute to deforestation, require huge amounts of water to produce, release methane into the atmosphere when in landfills, and often contain harmful chemicals like bleach. Instead of taking up precious closet space with paper towels, opt for a sustainable alternative like UNpaper® Towels. Perfect for wiping faces or hands, countertops or stoves; they’re absorbent, naturally cling together, reusable, and washable. Choose from a variety of prints and colors to match your unique style and personality, and simply add them to your next load of laundry. When you’re ready to roll your UNpaper® Towels, follow this tutorial as a guide.
5. Put a Stop to Plastic Wrap
Can you think of anything worse than thin sheets of single use plastic that easily rip and tear? Plastic Wrap has only made the plastic pollution crisis worse, and contains toxic additives that can leak into food. Leave the plastic wrap on the grocery store shelf and try an alternative like Bowl and Pan Covers or Beeswax Food Wrap. Bowl and Pan Covers have a waterproof and food safe PUL lining for easy cleaning, and a toggle cord stop and drawstring to close for a custom fit over your plate or bowl. Available in fresh seasonal prints, they are washable and reusable. Beeswax food wrap is made from a fabric, usually organic cotton, coated with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. Since it is slightly sticky, it easily adheres to any container or even some food items. Use the warmth of your hands to activate the wrap and create a seal on your container.
Aside from these tips, there are plenty of ways to be sustainable while grocery shopping. Try to shop local as much as possible, avoid purchasing items packaged in excess and unnecessary plastic, and aim to buy foods that are in season. Reduce your footprint by bringing your own bags, and be aware of the materials used in products you are purchasing. Regardless of where or how you shop, it’s simply about making small swaps along the way. Everyone’s sustainability journey is different, and it’s important to keep making progress, no matter how insignificant it may seem. How do you shop sustainably? We’d love to talk!