04 June 2011

Reduce garbage from shopping

At home, I have a huge container of plastic bags, paper bags, and straw threads - all from shopping trips to the grocer, hardware, and retail stores. Inside my bag are rolls of receipts, flyers, and unwanted catalogs. Every now and then, I wish I can reduce junk mail that comes in our doors.

Is there a way for us to break free from unnecessary trash? Some ways I try to lessen the carbon footprint of my purchases is to shop online. I ask online retailers to use recycled plastic in packaging the goods and skip fancy wrappers and unnecessary flyers.

With small items, especially at the pharmacy - I think it is useless to put those small medicines in small plastic bags when they can easily fit inside your purse. I do this when shopping at Watsons, I tell the cashier I do not need my items in a bag and just hold on to the receipt. Another plastic saved and not to forget, those wire staples!

By now, everyone has a green bag but not everyone remembers to bring them. Plan when you shop so you can put them inside your car for that day or, if you forgot - ask for goods to be placed in recycled boxes. Our local groceries have plenty of these. If you can, tell the baggers to skip tying the boxes with a straw thread. Your items are unlikely to be opened or spill if you are putting them inside your car trunk.