And buy fresh. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for most of your fresh foods – which also coincidentally tend to have less packaging. Consider buying larger boxes or bags of your staple items like whole wheat pasta or brown rice, since the larger box/bag will typically use fewer materials to make the packaging than several smaller ones.
Grab reusable grocery bags. Those plastic grocery bags are often thrown away, contributing to waste. They’re one of the most highly littered items across the country, and they can take centuries to decompose. Switch to reusable bags instead. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re easier to carry and pack your groceries in. And some stores will even give you a 5 or 10 cent credit for each bag used – which can add up for a big shopping trip. If you’re prone to forgetting the reusable bags, put the reusable bags back in your car after you unpack the groceries. This way, they are already in the car and ready for your next shopping trip. Don’t have any reusable bags? You’re in luck! This year on Earth Day, the Disney Store will give you a free reusable bag if you trade in 5 plastic bags. Target will also give you a free reusable bag on Earth Day – just ask at guest services.
Grow your own food. This Earth Day, try your hand at growing your own food. You don’t need a green thumb or a huge garden to grow some simple items. For example, you can easily grow some herbs in a pot near a windowsill. Just remember to water it! If you have space outside, you can experiment with different vegetables or fruits (berries are usually a good fruit to start with). If you want something to help you start, consider grabbing The Everything Grow Your Own Vegetables Book on Amazon.com. Right now you can get this e-book for free to read on your Kindle, or you can download the Kindle app on your phone to read for free!
Bike or walk for close errands. Many trips we make are only a few miles from home. This is a distance that can easily be covered walking (for shorter distances) or biking (for longer ones). By using these methods, you reduce the pollution from your car and save money on gas – not to mention increase your weekly physical activity! Of course, if you’re making a large grocery shopping trip this isn’t feasible. But if you’re running to grab money from the ATM or to pick up the paper, walk or bike.
Choose tap over bottled. Staying hydrated is very important for your health. But bottled water is expensive and requires a lot of materials and transport. 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year for these bottled waters. Tap water is cheap, readily available, and costs almost nothing. Tap water is monitored for safety – and many studies show it actually has fewer contaminants than bottled water! But if you want additional comfort, invest in a filter for your tap water. Grab a reusable water bottle and you’re all set!