8 ways to grocery shop more sustainably

If you’re watching the world and the news coming out of the Glasgow Climate Summit, you may be starting to think about some changes you can make. The good news is there are steps we can take as individuals to reduce our impact. Even if those steps are small. Because every little step counts towards one big movement.

One simple and achievable way to make changes is through grocery shopping. Just small, everyday, conscious decisions can make a big difference. So, here are some tips to help you buy food more sustainably.

1. Try to buy locally grown and organic where you can

The further away something is made, the further it has to travel to get to us. So, try to buy locally produced, organic food where you can. A great place to start is with fruit and veg. There are lots of great organic delivery services in and around Potts Point like Organics Only and Harris Farm Potts Point who can bring seasonal boxes to your door each week.

2. Buy only what you need, when you need it

Avoid impulse shopping and picking highly processed, packaged food from the shelves. Unfortunately, most of this type of food comes heavily wrapped in packaging. Plus, if you’re just buying things for the sake of it, you run the risk of wastage. One great tip is to only go shopping when you’re full. So the call of an empty stomach won’t encourage you to overbuy.

3. Look for seasonal produce

It’s both a blessing and a curse that we can find almost anything, from any part of the world on the shelves of supermarkets. But buying things out of season has its cost in terms of the environmental impact of getting it here. For instance, oranges from California would have to be shipped, flown, and trucked to travel the huge distance from the USA. So, try to buy seasonal food where you can.

4. Use reusable bags

Reduce, reuse, recycle is the new mantra and it should also be the way with your bags. Whether they’re plastic or calico, cotton or hessian, just try to reuse them as much as you can. If you do have plastic bags and they’ve reached the end of their use, head to the local Woolies or Coles supermarket and put them in the Red Cycle bin along with your other soft plastics. 

5. Freeze items that you may not finish in time

If you’ve made too much of something or your bananas are starting to go too brown, it’s time to freeze it. This helps you avoid throwing it away and adding it to landfill whilst also giving you some easy meal or smoothie ideas for the following weeks.

6. Try incorporating more plant-based recipes into your meal plan 

Adding a few more plant-based recipes to reduce the meat in your diet will go a long way for both the environment and your health. According to the Sustainable Living Guide, simply halving our meat consumption can have the following benefits:

  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – 2,354 kg CO2
  • Reduction in water use – 70,145 litres
  • Reduction in land disturbance – 18,606 m2 or 1.86 hectares

7. Create a meal plan

We’ve all done it…bought a ton of food with the intention of using it but no idea what for, only to see half of it go to waste at the end of the week. 

Creating a meal plan is a great way to make your grocery shopping more sustainable. It gives you a clear idea of what you’re going to cook each night of the week, and helps you to only buy what you need. You can even plan to have nights where you just cook up what’s leftover. 

8. Opt for the “ugly” produce

We have come to expect our fruit and veg to be perfectly presented. Round, shiny, unbruised apples and perfectly shaped, pointy carrots. But nature isn’t like that. Things come in all different shapes and sizes, and unfortunately a lot of perfectly edible fruit and veg goes to waste because it isn’t pretty enough.

Harris Farm is great at encouraging us to pick imperfect produce. In fact, they have a designated space for the fruit and veg that aren’t quite pretty enough for the supermarket shelf. 

If you’re looking to buy, sell or rent in Sydney, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.