Katy Thompson (@kayteemae)
Mirza Yaumil (@mirzadesigns)
Reusable Produce and Reusable Food Storage Bag
At Ecowaii, our mission is to reduce waste while avoiding single-use.
We hope to achieve this mission by creating high-quality, eco-friendly products that can help individuals make earth-friendly choices amidst their busy lives.
Going to the grocery store is the perfect time and place to make plastic-free choices and simple swaps that make a lasting impact.
Here are some helpful tips and switches that can make your weekly grocery experience greener and more convenient.
Making a Difference One Grocery Run at a Time
Every time we go to the grocery store, we have an opportunity to save the Earth. But as we peruse the produce aisle, we are surrounded by convenient rolls of plastic bags to organize and carry our produce. Then as we weave our way through the aisles, prepackaged goodies position themselves as easy to grab as we hurry our way through the store. By the time we make it home and are ready to clean and store our food, it is tempting to use single-use plastic baggies that we can throw out every week.
Each of these scenarios has become the routine for so many people around the world because of how convenient and easy they seem to make our busy lives.
But this convenience comes at a cost.
This year five trillion plastic bags will be consumed. That is 160,000 bags per second, and over 700 a year for every person on the planet. Most of the bags are simply thrown away, taking up to 1,000 years for a single plastic bag to degrade. But not all plastic gets buried in a landfill, about 10 percent of plastic from bags end up in the oceans. Researchers forecast that by 2050, the world’s oceans could contain more plastic than fish measure by weight.
The statistics can be shocking and unnerving, but it does not have to be a reality. Small changes every day add up to significant changes down the road, and it can start with your weekly trip to the grocery store.
Here are two ways that you can significantly reduce waste and avoid single-use products while grocery shopping.
Reusable Produce Bags
Reusable produce bags are a great way to reduce your single-use consumption at the grocery store. It is a simple switch that saves millions of plastic bags from traveling into landfills and waterways. In the average household, you can avoid using about 380-400 plastic bags a year when you make the switch to reusable produce bags. Reusable organic cotton produce bags are perfect for leafy greens, and mesh bags are best for starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas, carrots, and beets. After making the switch, you will be wondering why you did not make it sooner. They are more durable and can be washed, cleaned, and dried to use again and again, decreasing land pollution, aquatic pollution, and overall environmental degradation.
Reusable Food Storage Bags
Reusable food storage bags are the next step in reducing waste and avoiding single-use products. Disposable plastic storage bags have gained a reputation for being easy to use yet tend to break down over time and often get thrown away after one use. Using eco-friendly reusable food storage bags enables you to build a sustainable pantry, saving up to 500+ disposable bags per reusable bag, which saves you money while saving the Earth. Plus, there is no longer a need for plastic wrap or tin foil.The reusable bags are perfect for fruits, snacks, salads, sandwiches, frozen food, and vegetables, and can be washed and used time and time again.
Other Ways to Reduce Your Grocery Waste
There are many other ways you can reduce your footprint on the planet beyond the products you purchase at the grocery store. Reusable produce bags and food storage bags are a great place to start and make a significant difference, but if you are ready to take the next steps, here are a few extra tips.
Use Every Part
Try your best to use as much of the food you purchase in the meals you cook. It is easy to toss out the tops of carrots or the stems of broccoli without thinking twice. But you are missing out on foods with dense nutritional value and an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Plus, your garbage can or compost bin gets fuller, faster. Here is a post on twelve different ways you can use carrot tops in your next meal.
It is easy to go to the grocery store or market and buy more food than we need. Whether we are feeding a family of five or cooking for ourselves, it is an excellent practice to only purchase exactly what we need to avoid spoiled and wasted food. Even when we try our best, food can still spoil on us. Rather than panic and throw it away, look for alternative recipes such as banana bread for mushy bananas or clean and freeze fresh produce before it goes bad so that you can enjoy it later.
Some food waste is inevitable, but composting is a great way to turn your trash into treasure. You do not need a large backyard to start a composting pile. A small compost bin works just as well. By layering various food scraps and other organic materials and adding the perfect amount of moisture, your garbage transforms into nutrient-dense soil in your flower beds, plant pots, or garden. Check out our article on composting do’s and do not’s to learn more.
Keep in mind, you do not have to change every aspect of your grocery shopping experience at the same time. Choosing to replace one disposable bag for one reusable bag is a great place to start. At ecowaii, we want to make the transition to sustainable, green living as smooth as possible, which is why we have a wide array of eco-friendly products to best fit your needs.