“Do Your Part” is a resource for making choices that are better for you, your family and the environment. One way you can make a difference is by swapping a few items when you go to the grocery store.
Try these five “green” choices:
• Support local farmers. The first place most of us stop is the produce section. Start your trip by choosing fruits and veggies that are in season and locally grown. Local produce travels fewer miles to reach your table, so it should be fresher. You are also supporting local farmers and the local economy when you buy produce close to home. Plus, this locally grown goodness should last longer once it’s at home.
• Buy “green” cleaning supplies. Going green when it comes to cleaning a home is one of the most important decisions we can make. Chemical-based cleaners can pollute the air by releasing volatile organic compounds. A better choice is to use white vinegar to disinfect and baking soda to scrub. You can also seek out store-bought cleaners that are phosphate-free, fragrance-free and biodegradable. It’s also best to choose those made from plant-based ingredients.
• Choose beverages in aluminum cans. Buy soda, beer or juice in aluminum cans when you have the option. Aluminum is among the most valuable recycled materials, and it’s easily turned into another aluminum can or container in as little as 90 days. Then, make sure to recycle the can. Nearly all curbside recycling programs accept aluminum.
• Choose recycled products. Paper products made from recycled material use 40 percent less energy and water being manufactured, which in turns creates far less air, land and water pollution. Paper towels and napkins cannot be recycled due to food residue, but we can choose towels made from recycled material.
• Bring a reusable bag. There is more incentive than ever to take along a reusable bag, with some grocery store chains offering cash back when you do. Be just as thoughtful about produce bags. Reuse the ones you already have or go without. Not every type of produce needs a bag.
Making smarter choices at the grocery store is easy and can save you money. Do your part and make simple swaps the next time you go shopping.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part,” a practical guide for everyday green living available at DoYourPart.com. Send questions to terridoyourpart.com.