As consumers, each of us chooses where we want to shop and what impact we want to leave on the environment. Although there are cultural innovations such as organic stores, the box system or packaging-free stores, few modern people living in cities today can completely avoid shopping in a supermarket or retail chain. So how to shop healthy and environmentally friendly in the supermarket?
1. Keep cotton bags with you at all times
Completely avoid using disposable plastic bags. Carry cotton bags in my purse in case you stop by the store in the evening after work. A couple of these bags are light as a feather, so it's not a burden at all. Put fruit and/or vegetables in these bags, which have been used for several months. When you are in a shop where consumers weigh the goods themselves, stick the sticker on gently so that you can peel it off.
Maybe carrying your own bags seems kind of "far-fetched" to you. The way you see it, there are people among us who are making a significant contribution to a better version of this planet through their work with organisations like Greenpeace. This is a way that you can help towards that goal as well. And not just once in a while, but every day. Three bags saved a day won't save anyone, but it can add up to a lot a year...
2. Buy freely available fruit and vegetables
Some fruits are available in plastic tubs, often wrapped in plastic. Or they are freely available. Choose loose fruit and vegetables. This avoids the single use of plastic packaging. Plus, there is almost always some rotten bit in the tubs that can spoil the rest of the tub. So often we pay for what should no longer be on the shelves. So you should look at the individual pieces of fruit or vegetables and choose the ones you want to enjoy.
3. Use textile shopping bags
Keep a canvas bag in your handbag. It is much more reliable and sturdier than a plastic bag. Plus, it has a much longer lifespan. We keep multiple types of canvas bags in our household and use them every day, not just for grocery shopping.
4. Trace the origin of food
Prefer food from organic farming, yet keep a sober perspective when choosing it. Be aware that many fruits and organic delicacies come to us from Asia, South America or Africa. Not only the quality of the product, but also the origin of the product should be considered in equal measure. The consideration of the geographical origin of a product by more consumers could have a major impact on our planet. The regular consumption of organic 'goodies' from Peru or Bolivia, such as chia seeds, quinoa and others, is quite an unsustainable trend. Plus, it's selfish towards the environment, don't you think? Are we really contributing to our overall health with these delicacies? After all, our health also suffers by breathing the toxic air that the distribution of exotic delicacies contributes to... So choose quality food, ideally local.
- Prefer products from local producers to support local production. - Buy eggs from litter hens because you want to support ethical animal husbandry. - Limit exotic fruit because you know that fruit ripened in trucks or ripening (banana) chambers, without a trace of sunlight, is not good for you or the environment.
5. Carrot stems - an unnoticed treasure
You don't have to pay for this leafy vegetable, it's free. When you walk past a vegetable patch, you will usually see a carrot stalk in a vegetable box. Unfortunately, in our country carrots and leafy vegetables in general are still considered waste. Paradoxically, we consume a lot of processed foods and overlook what is essential for our health. Leafy greens and freely available herbs from nature are the basis for a good green smoothie. Discarded sprouts from the box are a great part of a healthy breakfast. We don't keep a guinea pig at home like all the saleswomen think. We just live a healthy lifestyle... Carrot sticks from the supermarket may not come from organic farming, but eat a green smoothie rather than a doughnut or a pastry.