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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

8 Simple Ways to Reduce Garbage When Shopping

1. Bring reusable bags. This one is of the easiest ways to reduce trash, but sometimes, if you’re like me, you may forget to put the bags back in the car. So once you’re done unloading, be sure to place the bags back into the car you normally take shopping. Use these bags on all shopping trips–not just the grocery store. Reuse all bags even if some are plastic until you have enough canvas ones.

2. Skip produce bags. Do your bananas really need to be placed into a plastic bag? If you’re buying fruit that can be easily bruised, use a mesh bag that you can use over and over again. We have spotted mesh bags at the dollar stores and some grocery stores sell them.

3. Think bulk. Ever consider the amount of packaging that some of the products you buy come in? And then the waste? Ever buy plastic boxes that conveniently hold fruit and vegetables? Sure they keep the produce safe but in many areas the plastic used for these is not recyclable. Instead why not buy fresh from the farm and bring your own bag. Buy local eggs and use your cartons over again.  Shop at the bakery and bring a pillowcase for your bread or a reusable bag. Some newer grocery stores are offering more bulk products. Bring your own jars and containers and fill them up.

4. Before you buy ask yourself do you really need it? Sometimes the idea of buying something at a great deal isn’t such a great deal for the earth or the growing amount of trash we produce.

5. Don’t buy  single-serving items, which require more packaging per unit. Overpackaged offenders include frozen foods and lunch and snack items. Instead repackage them yourself in plastic containers or baggies you can reuse.

6. Avoid disposable goods, including razors, lighters, and plastic plates. Use the real stuff including rechargeable batteries.

7. Look for multipurpose cleaners instead of buying one for each kind of surface. Or learn how to make your own cleaning items rather than buying them.

8. Remember recycling does work, as does composting, reusing, and a new R — REFUSE. Refuse to buy items that have too much packaging or use that horribly NOT earth friendly Styrofoam containers. Every little bit helps.

Do you have any tips that help make shopping less trashy? Do share your tips and ideas here.

2 comments

1 Mike Lieberman { 04.19.11 at 11:56 am }

When I go to the farmers market I bring containers to put berries or other loose items in and give the cartons back to the vendors to use again.

2 Sherrye { 04.19.11 at 8:35 am }

The Farmer’s Market puts produce in paper sacks. We use these in addition to kindling as starter for the wood stove in winter.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.