Food packaging can make up a large portion of weekly waste in any household. Many people make weekly visits to the grocery store and don’t realize it’s one of the easiest and biggest ways to make an impact.

Here are some tips to reduce waste with each trip to the grocery store:

Bring a Container. Mason jars are a great alternative to plastic produce bags or containers in any bulk section (nuts, spices, candies, meats, etc.). Just take the jar to the counter at your local grocery store and they’ll weigh it for you. The tare, or weight of your jar, will be deducted from the total weight so that you’re charged the appropriate amount. Average weights for these jars are as follows:

  • 32 oz Mason Jar: 1.02 lbs
  • 16 oz Mason Jar: 0.65 lbs
  • 8 oz Mason Jar: 0.38 lbs
Mason jars an alternative to plastic produce bags

Take a Tote. Use reusable canvas bags for all grocery store visits. While many retailers and grocery stores have moved away from plastic bags to paper, it is still important to reduce waste, so always bring your reusable bags.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Can I make this? There are many dips, sauces, dressings, snacks, etc. that can easily be made at home, which reduces additional waste.

  2. Can I buy it in compostable wrapping? Many baking supplies, like flour and sugar, are sold in paper bags, which are compostable. These bags can be torn into small pieces and placed in a compost pile.

  3. Does it come in glass? Glass is 100% recyclable, so if you’re not ready to make all of your condiments and sauces, this is a great option!