Simple Steps You Can Take to Be a Greener Shopper

These days more and more people are looking at ways they can lessen the impact of their lifestyles on the environment. At the same time, due to the dire economic situations that seem to be prevalent all over the globe, people are also out to be as frugal as they possibly can, especially when it comes to basic items they need to buy repeatedly.

Fortunately, making sustainable choices and saving money are extremely comfortable bedfellows, and the task of achieving both ends simultaneously is often easier than you might think. One great example of this is to be found in food products that have been reduced in price due to their impending sell by date.

By buying these items you ensure that food stuffs and packaging, that would otherwise be destined for a landfill site, are instead put to a better use. At the same time you can pick up a great deal. There’s not even too much reason to be overly worried about the upcoming sell by date. If the food is freezeable you can store it for weeks before having to eat it, and if not you could simply plan an evening meal using a recipe that utilises whatever reduced items you are able to get your hands on at the time.

Another great tip is to look at buying concentrated products wherever possible. By virtue of being smaller, these items have lower transport costs (environmental and monetary) relative to their size and weight, and, for the same reason, they also use less packaging. On top of these environmental concerns, you’ll also often find that you are able to make such products stretch a little further than their alternatives, giving you more for your money.

Squash concentrate, is cost effective replacement for juice and in place of sauces you might think about going for a puree. For example, you can make several portions of sauce from a tube of tomato puree, rather than buying multiple large ready-made glass jars. Similarly you could buy a small jar of curry paste and find that you can get lots of meals out of it. You can also buy detergent for your clothes and hand wash in concentrated form.

Finally, look out for opportunities to use refillable packs. Many coffee companies, for example, now provide their products in packs that can be refilled.

Steve Waller is an environmental blogger. You can find more of his thoughts on supermarket sustainability over at his blog,

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