Between cardboard boxes, plastic wrap, twist-ties, plastic bags, it is difficult to walk through modern super markets without seeing nearly every product for purchase encumbered by excessive packaging. In fact, it is nearly impossible to walk into a fresh produce section today and see just that – fresh, unpackaged produce. So what is a sustainably savvy shopper to do?
- Aim for products with less packaging. It sounds like an obvious choice, but if there are two comparable brands of the same product, go for the one with less wasteful packaging per unit.
- Buy in bulk. Hit up your super market’s bulk section for your favorite nuts, candies, cereals, etc. And if you really mean business, bring your own lightweight reusable containers to fill up.
- Choose vendors that allow return and reuse of packaging. For example, as opposed to always buying a new disposable plastic carton of milk, look into a local dairy that will rebottle milk in glass bottles. To find this service in Rochester, check out Pittsford Dairy.
- Choose products that come in reusable or recyclable containers. For example, Oscar Mayer brand deli meats are sold in Tupperware containers that can be reused in the kitchen. Or if no reusable option is available, choose an item that comes in cardboard over plastic bags or Styrofoam, which cannot be recycled.
By Grace Interlichia, class of 2013