It’s time to think through our grocery shopping expeditions a bit more thoughtfully. See below for 12 sustainable grocery shopping tips.

Reusable shopping bags

It’s something we are all aware of, but we still struggle to remember to bring our own reusable bags. If you haven’t purchased a tote for shopping yet, that is the first step, and we suggest purchasing these BAGGU reusable tote bags. You can take them with you everywhere without the hassle of carrying a big bag because they fold down to fit in a small purse. They also come in the most stylish designs. 

Shop naked for your fruits and veggies

Many of us put fruits and vegetables we’re purchasing into the free plastic bags found in the produce section of the supermarket. But now that we are more educated on the damage these plastics cause, we need to skip this unnecessary extra step. Place your fruits and vegetables in a reusable fruit bag or don’t use a bag at all because you wash your fruits and vegetables before consuming them anyway! 

Check where your seafood is sourced

For most of the seafood we consume, we simply don’t know the journey it took before it ended up on our plate. This general unawareness has allowed many unethical fishing practices. Overfishing is a serious issue that has led to many species becoming endangered. In an effort to combat this, an ongoing development called the “Seafood Watch App” provides information on purchasing fish sustainably. Just pull it up on your phone when grocery shopping and use their tips and tricks to choose thoughtfully. 

Purchase in bulk

Buying larger amounts of products you use frequently helps to limit your plastic waste. Bring your jars to the store when purchasing nuts, candies, and nut butters in bulk. 

Shop for the season

Shopping local and in season is the best way to get the most nutrients from the vegetables you’re eating. They’re perfectly ripe, taste better, and cost less. Local, in-season vegetables are fresher than those that have traveled for days and sometimes weeks before they hit the shelves of your supermarket. Cut down on environmental waste by buying your vegetables in season.  

Shop local farmers’ markets

In NYC, the Pildora team likes to shop at a couple of stellar farmers’ markets. Shopping at farmers’ markets allows you to talk directly to the farmers who grow the food, which is a game-changer when looking to purchase sustainably! Plus, you are supporting local and small businesses instead of large industrial farms. Don’t forget to bring your tote!

Check labels

One of the more difficult things to do when you’re shopping in a rush is to read food labels. But it’s important to know how the food you’re buying is produced and what it contains. A simple way to pretty much avoid the label-reading task is by going organic. Organic foods may taste the same as non-organic, but they are far healthier.

Shop the perimeter

Yes, we have all heard about doing this to avoid the unhealthy snack foods, but it’s also a good move to avoid the packaging these unhealthy snacks come wrapped in! The perimeter of the grocery store is where you’ll typically find unwrapped, healthier foods. Just a quick tip and habit to create for yourself.

Buy less

We can get carried away buying more than we actually need, especially when all the food looks so good at the store. And we’ve all been guilty of throwing out some of that same food when it expired before we were able to consume it. The best way to avoid this is to never grocery shop hungry! We all know what happens.

Support the right grocery stores

There are specific grocery stores that go out of their way to sustainably source many of their products. A few minutes of research on where you are shopping goes a long way. 

Replant what you can

Many vegetables have seeds or stems that can be replanted for a circular supply. One example is green onions. Just place the white portion in a cup of water and watch the green portion regrow. Look here for exact directions and for information on other plants that can be regenerated instead of tossed.

Eat ugly fruits and veggies

We’ve been seeing these ads all over NYC, and we are so excited to promote this amazing service. Essentially, grocery stores won’t take produce that is “ugly” or misshapen. This leads to a multitude of waste for products that are perfectly fine. But now there are services that offer these “ugly” fruits and vegetables. By subscribing, you get discounted and perfectly fine produce delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out here and here for two services currently available.