Ecotips // How to avoid packaging

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I am so excited! This is my first Ecotips post and I cannot wait to share with you some useful everyday tips that will make our life a bit greener :) As I told you some days ago, on this new year I am really trying to improve my life following a greener path and I hope you'll join me in this exciting journey!

As you know, the omnipresence of plastic and all sort of packaging is a HUGE problem when we talk about water pollution, trash dumping and micro-plastics in out oceans. What we don't always realize is that some little acts everyday can REALLY change things the better way. Even when we think that our actions are just a little drop in the ocean, we have to understand that together we are the ocean! And together we can do great things!
Today I am sharing some of my eco-tips to avoid packaging everyday. I am already putting them into practice! And I have to say that, if at first I was a bit scared, in the end it's easier than you can imagine :)

Bring your own grocery bags
When I was doing my everyday shopping at the supermarket a couple of year ago, I wasn't used to bring my own grocery bags. I went home and the apartment was suddenly filled everywhere with plastic bags I was going to throw away anyways. I realized that it was no longer possible to keep it like that and I started to bring my own grocery bags during my shopping duties. Not only I save time and space now that I don't have to throw away all those plastic bags, but I reduced my plastic footprint remarkably!

And if you want to spice up your shopping you can also buy some very cute cotton tote bags or even make your owns!

Some countries are now finally banning the distribution of plastic bags in the supermarkets and grocery stores. So, we're actually already making some very important steps forward :) But if your country doesn't do that yet, you can always give the exemple and I'm sure lots of people will join you!

Buy fresh
This is something I just started to do. I was scared of the prices and always thought that going to the greengrocer or the butcher meant spending more than buying already packed food at the supermarket. I surprisingly realized that this isn't true! 
Packaging itself has a price and when you buy fresh the price doesn't include it. When you buy some unpacked food at the same price of the already packed ones, this is often because the price goes on to the quality of the good. Which means: same price, better quality. What else?

I also realized that usually unpacked foods are even better tasting! This is because most of the time they're fresher and packed right in front of you.

And when you consume your food you don't have to throw away tons and tons of plastic and paper :) It's definitely a win win situation.

When I do my supermarket shopping I am always excited to see how many commercial brands are actually trying to become a little greener. It may be for commercial purpose, but if it's good for the planet, why not? Here I am talking about all those brand, mostly detergents, that are actually commercializing their rechargeable version and their recharges. It means that when you buy a product the first time, when you finish it you don't need to throw away the container, but you can easily buy its recharge (whose container is usually made with less plastic, biodegradable or recyclable materials).
Easy right?

Than, at home, I am a huge supporter of refill. I try to collect as many jars, containers, boxes as possible and fill them with unpacked foods or items that need a stockage. My house is tidier and better looking, without all those plastics and labels.

Look for the packaging-free stores
As I discovered a couple of years ago when I was still in Italy, there are lots of new packaging-free stores and chains that are conquering their place out there. And I couldn't be any happier! It is not only a good commercial business that follows the no-packaging trend, but also an amazing concept every big grocery store and supermarket should be able to put in place.
It is true that little by little you can see some supermarket departments reserved only to packaging-free foods and detergents. This is something we should praise and hope it will spread to every supermarket or big chain.

For a uni exam in Italy I had to compare a small packaging-free neighborhood store with the most known supermarket chains, in terms of prices. I expected to find the latter cheaper, instead they had almost the same prices! I also interviewed some buyers of the small store and the result was that what you were gaining from buying there was more attention to the clients, to their needs, to the environment and to the quality of what it was sold.

You can have a look on the internet and find the packaging-free store that is closer to you. I already found mine! 

Talk to people
This can be the most difficult point. Sometimes people don't understand what I do or why and the look in their faces can be embarrassing or intimidating. Others judgment can be tough, but we don't need to be scared.
The other day I went to my neighborhood greengrocer with my huge straw bag and took what I needed without any paper bag to separate them from the others (see the picture above). The girl at the desk looked at me strangely and offered me some of the bags. I refused them explaining that I didn't want to make unnecessary trash. She looked at me and said "Sure!" with a smile :) Other people were listening and maybe next time they'll do the same!

This is why it's so important to held our head high and don't be afraid to talk to people about what we think :)

I hope these tips will be helpful next time you'll go do your daily shopping duties. Please, don't hesitate to share your ideas and tips to avoid packaging in our everyday life!

2 comments on "Ecotips // How to avoid packaging"
  1. I like your post, and would like to add +1 point to all the coffee lovers: I often buy takeaway coffees in the city, and of course I get them in a paper cup. For Christmas I surprised myself with a reusable coffeecup (the brand is Keepcup), that is really lovely, can fit in my bags and I can ask my takeaway beverages in it. Sure, the barisras often look at me strangely, but then they all get amazed by the happy colors of my cup. :)

    1. Hi Luca! Thanks for sharing this here :) Yay I like the idea! I think I'll do the same and I sure that more and more people will like the idea too! Keep it up

      Cheers :)


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