This blog includes some ideas, tips and tricks on the ways that you can shop more environmentally friendly to reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the planet.
About the author:
Hi I’m Lily, the Marketing Officer at Solar Plants. I hope you find this blog interesting and it inspires you to make some small environmentally friendly changes to your shopping habits. Since joining Solar Plants nearly 3 years ago, I have become a huge advocate for being green and doing my bit for the planet – no matter how big or small, because one small action made by every single person will result in a huge difference worldwide!
Take your own bags to the supermarket
After the 5p charge for carrier bags was introduced back in 2011 for Wales and 2015 for England, single-use plastic bag sales fell 86% which is such a positive result. However, 5p isn’t really going to break the bank for many of us and sometimes it’s too convenient to be lazy with this, so always remember to take your own. Fingers crossed, that statistic can be even better in the near future.
Opt for loose fruit and vegetables
There’s huge daily headlines and controversy across social media about the unnecessary packaging used for food in supermarkets. Fruit and vegetables are washable and often come in their own protective ‘packaging’, so reems of plastic packaging seem needless.
Only buy what you’re going to use
Today, a third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains. It’s also enough food to feed every undernourished person on the planet several times over. These stats are completely horrifying, both in a humanitarian, and an environmental sense. Try to only buy what you need and remember, the ‘sell-by’ date is not the date that food goes off! Many supermarkets now sell ‘wonky’ food to try and tackle food waste – at a much cheaper price too.
Try to cut down on eating meat
This one is super difficult for many people who are meat eaters (like me). In all honesty, until recently, I wouldn’t even consider opting for a meat-free meal. I really didn’t understand the huge negative impact that eating meat had on the planet. I’m currently trying my best to participate in ‘Meat-Free Monday’, and in fact, if 10 million people joined in with this in the UK, it would reduce enough CO2 to drive around the world 2,438 times! I recently made a chickpea and vegetable curry – with the right herbs and spices vegan food can be really tasty too!
Plastic toiletries are a huge culprit
We’ve all heard the words ‘plastic is choking our oceans’ alongside the heartbreaking images of sea animals killed by plastics but I feel that all we really hear about is the ban of plastic straws, which of course, is a great step in the right direction, but it’s clearly not enough. Try to avoid plastic cotton buds, switch to bars of soap and be sure to recycle any plastic bottles that you do buy.
Clothes shopping counts too!
I know this point doesn’t quite fit in with Market Monday, as this is linked more to clothes buying, but with literally thousands of cheap online clothing shops now readily available via our mobiles, it can be SO tempting to buy cheap items purely for the sake of getting a buzz out of getting a bargain. I am certainly guilty of this until recently! According to the charity Wrap, which promotes sustainable waste management, “each week we buy 38m items and 11m items go to landfill”. I have been using the app ‘Depop’ a lot recently – similar to eBay but purely for clothes. There are so many bargains and I just feel that bit better knowing this way of shopping is so much better for the planet!
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