ECOLOGY, LOW WASTE, TIPS

Let’s reduce the use of plastic while shopping : 7 simple ways

When I decided to share with you the changes I have made in my daily life to reduce my ecological footprint, I thought that it must been done in an organized manner. Changing our habits by taking care of the environment (and of course our own body) requires organization. It’s not hard. We just need to be organized. So in this sense of organization, I decided to divide my habits into categories. In this previous article, I shared with you the changes I have made in my daily life in relation to the use of plastic at home. In this article, I would like to share with you the changes I have made in the use of plastic in shopping.

It all comes down to habits. Habits we have acquired growing up in this beautiful place, but with limited, if not scarce, education in relation to environmental protection and insufficient infrastructure. In this context, we are simply summoned to think, to research for knowledge, to find the way and eventually…to change habits!

And when we finally succeed and modify our habits, and our new habits are our habits, let’s share them with those around us! Let’s inspire them, urge them to change something so simple in their lives, but oh-so important…

My experience in relation to the use of plastic in shopping has changed somewhat like this…

Canvas bags instead of plastic bags :

This is a quite popular habit now and that makes me very happy! Inside my backpack with the embroidered avocado, I always carry 5 canvas bags in different sizes and of course my 70s nets.

But what happens in the farmer’s market or in the grocery stores?

Two solutions : The first one is carrying with me A LOT of canvas bags and filling them with the fruits or vegetables I want to buy. The second, but not so ideal, solution is to carry old plastic bags that have been sitting at home for years and fill them.

Fabric bread case :

Many times, the paper bags used for bread in bakeries contain traces of plastic Even if this doesn’t happen, why buy bread in a paper bad that you will only use for 2 days? I always have a cloth pouchwith me and I ask them to put my bread there.
At first, the bakery staff looked at me like I was an alien and didn’t understand what I was asking for. It was kind of funny.
Alexandra: Hello, I would like a whole wheat bread, but if you can please put it in this pouch.
Employee: Okay. * Puts the bread in a paper bag *
Alexandra: No, no. If you can, in this cloth pouch.
Employee: * Carefully examines the pouch *
Alexandra: Well nevermind, the paper bag is used now, don’t throw it away, I will take it that way.

Employee: * Puts the bread in the paper bag AND THEN in the pouch *
Alexandra : (sigh)
I never lost my patience. After the 5th time, the employees got it right and I no longer need to tell them anything! They put the bread directlyinto the cotton pouch. How cool are we?

Buying products in bulk :

We consume a lot of nuts, legumes and cereals. It’s very difficult for me to take glass containers with me because they’re too heavy. This is ideal and I hope I can do it at some point. For the time being, I take with me clothor paper bags that I have already used, and I ask the employees to fill them for me. In a pocket of my bag, I have tied many paper bags with a rubber band, because you never know when you will need to buy 250 gr of uncooked and unsalted almonds.

Say no to products that are packaged for no reason:

Why would a wooden box be packed with plastic? It’s a no from me. Why should a chocolate with paper wrapper have a plastic one too? It’s a no from me. Why does pasta in paper packaging, have plastic too? No, no, no. Same thing applies to magazines, decorations or any other product we want to buy. It’s best if you choose those that have no packaging at all or even recyclable packaging.

Say no to offers :

You heard right, I’m not going insane. Usually, the offers in big stores (like 1 + 1) are packaged in a hue piece of plastic. It’s best if you don’t choose these offers. After all, what’s the difference in price with the products without plastic packaging right next to them?

Say yes to large quantities :

If your favorite shampoo is sold in plastic packaging and you definitely want to buy it, then it’s better to buy the bigger size. This is what I do for dish soap, which is sold in recycled and recyclable plastic, but it’s still plastic. So instead of buying the 200 ml package, I choose to buy the 700 ml package. Bigger size means less plastic!

Online Shopping :

Hmmm..And now that’s the hardest part. I know that sometimes online shopping is very convenient. But when we shop online, we have to receive a parcel wrapped in a lot of plastic. Plastic protector, bubble wrap, plastic envelope of the courier company and so on. Of course, there are companies that make sure they have 0% plastic in their packaging and when that happens I get very excited, because someone has was thoughtful enough to take care of this. So we have three solutions :
1. Request to collect your order from the store
2. Ask the store to use as little plastic as possible in their packaging
3. Look for the companies that make sure there’s no plastic in a shipping package.
Do you know any companies that don’t use plastic for their packaging? I have only encountered this at sapontina.gr and lapetitesardine.pt (not sponsored, guys).

I hope you got some ideas on reducing plastic while shopping. If you have other ideas, I’ll be very happy to know about your own effort for less use of plastic in shopping!

See you soon,

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