According to a 2017 WWF Food Team report, nearly 10 million tons of food is wasted every year in South Africa. That’s about a third of the food produced annually in the country. One of the most practical ways to address food waste is by encouraging sustainable shopping.
It’s worth noting that everyone’s shopping habits have a social and environmental impact. Large amounts of water and energy are used to produce food that ultimately ends up in landfills instead of a dinner plate. That’s why it’s vital for everyone to do what they can to reduce the environmental impact of their shopping.
The beauty of sustainable shopping is that it minimises waste while maximising affordability. Being a little more conscious of your shopping habits not only puts less waste in a landfill, it also puts more money in your account. Here are five tips to help you start shopping with sustainability in mind:
Shop with Reusable Bags
Plastic bags are a cheap and convenient way to contain and transport groceries, but they cause massive damage to the planet. Most of them contribute to marine litter long after they’ve been used, so it only makes sense for sustainable shoppers to look for an environmentally friendly alternative. If you’re concerned about marine litter, rather buy a reusable bag or take some with you, every time you shop for groceries.
Buy Seasonal Produce
Buying in-season produce has numerous benefits. The carbon emitted during the transportation of out-of-season foods contributes to air pollution and climate change. On the other hand, the nutritional value of out-of-season food decreases because the produce is picked prematurely. Find out which produce is in season before making heading out to your local grocery store.
Make a List
Food waste can be reduced significantly by buying only what you need at a store. Quite often, shoppers will add something to the cart, only to realise at home that you already had the item at home. Writing up a list prevents you from buying things which you already have, reducing the likelihood of your food ending up in a bin.
Writing a list beforehand is also a great way to spot deals before you head to a store. Discount platforms like Wuhu give you a ton of discount deals to browse on your phone. The deals you’re interested in are added to a basket and can be redeemed in-store at participating retailers.
Being mindful of your shopping habits is not only good for the planet, it’s good for your pocket too. It’s a win-win situation, no matter how you look at it.