Green Shopping Tips For the Everyday Consumer

Many of us are becoming conscious of the environment and we are all doing things to reduce our “carbon footprint”. Since we all shop there are some things that we can do to be more green with our consumer dollars and at the grocery store.

One thing that we may not have considered before is the packaging that our food comes in. We should buy the largest size product that we can use. Anything that comes in an individual serving package can usually be purchased in a larger package. If you want a smaller amount to take with you later you can always use a reusable container and just get out the amount that you want. Individual packaging creates a huge amount of waste. Even things like soft drinks or ice tea saves plastic and packaging if you buy the largest container.

Avoid paper plates and plastic spoons. These things may seem like convenience item but they just end up in the landfills and it is such a waste. It is usually nicer to eat on normal plates anyway so if possible use real plates and real silverware.

A disposable camera may seem like a great idea but it still creates unnecessary waste. If you use a real camera that uses film you still get your photos developed but you are not creating any additional waste with the camera. If you use a digital camera you can just download the photos onto your computer and that might be the most environmentally friendly solution yet.

Get to know and use your local recycling program. Once you know which kinds of containers and items you can recycle you can look for those things when you are shopping. Some commonly recycled items are #1 and #2 plastic and glass and most aluminum packaging. Search the Internet for any recycling services near you.

Buy reusable and long-lasting items. Rechargeable batteries are convenient and they stay out of the landfills. Using cloth napkins, sponges and soft wipes is a much greener solution than paper towels and paper napkins. Also make sure that you take your own reusable bags to the stores when you shop to save on the plastic waste.

Use environmentally safe cleaning products. There are many brands out there now that are safe for children, pets and the environment. You can choose one of those or you can even make your own from various other products that are safe and non-toxic such as baking soda, vinegar and essential oils.

There are many things that a consumer can do to be environmentally conscious including the tips mentioned here and other less thought about things such as designating one day a week as a vegetarian day or driving less and walking more. It all adds up because if everyone starts to do just a little to be more green it will make a big difference.

Karen Lynch is a freelance writer and WAHM, who is passionate about saving money for her family. She uses Grocery Coupons sales and rebates to maximize her savings. She shares her tips and techniques for the family budget

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