(Family Features) Whether stopping in for a daily to-go cup of coffee or running your weekly grocery store trip, you likely have many purchases throughout the day.
With Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to reflect on your own personal impact on the environment and the world around you. Because so many consumer habits can have a negative effect on the planet, it’s important to take steps to reduce this trend.
“There are many ways to support the green movement,” said Hillary Femal, vice president of marketing for IFCO, the world’s leading producer of eco-friendly Reusable Produce Containers. “But the easiest way is to become an educated consumer.”
Be a green consumer
As a sustainable shopper, you can do your part to cut down on the amount of waste filling landfills and other environmental dangers. Here are a few steps you can implement in your own daily routine or whenever you’re out shopping:
- Know Your Grocer: Many companies and grocers are taking steps to provide greener solutions for the display of their products, such as produce. Recycling cardboard boxes used to display produce is good, but according to the EPA, reuse is better. That's why many grocers use Reusable Produce Containers (RPCs). Grocers can use and reuse these containers to ship, store and display fresh produce – all in an environmentally friendly way that reduces waste.
- Understand Your Brands: Educate yourself on whether your favorite brands and fresh produce growers support green initiatives. Village Farms is a greenhouse grower of fresh tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that focuses on green agricultural practices from the farmer to your plate. Village Farms and many other growers choose to use RPCs to pack fresh fruits and vegetables safely from their fields. From there they ship the RPCs to major retailers across the country and the containers keep the produce safe and fresh throughout the journey.
- Choose to Reuse: Keep in mind that recycling is a start, but reuse is smart. You can choose to reuse by choosing products with eco-friendly or reusable packaging and shopping at retailers displaying their fresh produce in RPCs. This packaging is not only good for the fruits and veggies you love, but it’s also great for you and the planet.
- Support Grocers that Reduce Waste: Some specialty food stores may be well known for their green standards, but many major food retailers are also making green choices. Many choose to provide produce brands, such as Village Farms, who recognize the importance of reducing waste when shipping their products and choose RPCs to reduce waste, energy and greenhouse gas emissions. These stores are also able to display the produce directly in their containers, getting even more use out of them and showing their commitment to environmental conservation.
- Bag it Up: According to the EPA, thousands of plastic and paper shopping bags are thrown away every year. Help cut down on this extra waste by using reusable cloth bags for your purchases. Keep them with you in your car, so they’re always handy for shopping trips to the grocery store, drug store or anywhere else you frequently shop.
So, the next time you’re spending the green in your wallet, think about how to make green choices with the products you buy. Visit www.choosereuse.org to learn about Reusable Produce Containers and support and share the cause with your friends by following Choose to Reuse on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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