We all have the best of intentions, but a trip to the grocery store can leave us totally overwhelmed. How do you pick products that are good for you and good for the planet, especially when you’re faced with twenty different brands of peanut butter? Take a deep breath. Making good choices is easy, once you know what to look for.
Use these five simple tricks to identify the earth-friendly products that deserve a place in your shopping cart.
✓ Look for the USDA Organic seal. These products are made without toxic synthetic chemicals or GMOs, and contain no artificial ingredients, hormones, antibiotics or trans fats. Other go-to earth-friendly labels include Non-GMO Project Verified and Fair Trade Certified.
✓ Check the ingredients. Ingredient lists should not be a mile long and full of unpronounceable words. Look for products with simple, wholesome ingredients – your health and your planet will thank you!
✓ Don’t trust everything you read. Unfortunately, the word ‘natural’ on a product’s packaging doesn’t mean much these days. Unlike certified organic products, there are no comprehensive standards or certification governing the use of the term ‘natural,’ so they might have been produced using just about anything – including toxic synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, GMOs and more. We said it once and we’ll repeat it again, organic products certified by a reputable third-party organization and are federally regulated with rigorous, enforced standards. In short, the certifiers have done all the hard work so you don’t have to! You can learn more about the difference between organic and natural here.
✓ How you shop is just as important as what you buy. Don’t leave home without your reusable shopping bag, which makes a trip to the store easier and more sustainable. Ever noticed that you can fit way more items into a reusable bag than its plastic or paper counterpart? For a chance to win a snazzy new bag, take our How Green is Your Shopping Cart quiz. And don’t forget to bring reusable bags for your produce – you can choose one made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles or even make your own.
✓ Prioritize sustainable packaging. Look for brands that reduce their eco-footprint by using post-consumer recycled or compostable materials in their packaging. Even better, find creative ways to reuse packaging like growing greens in Earthbound Farm clamshells.
Want to take earth-friendly shopping next level? Then study hard! Delving a bit deeper into a company’s packaging or website can provide valuable perspective on what they stand for. While you’re at it, you can learn about Earthbound Farm’s history and values.
What’s the lesson learned? With a little preparation and attention to detail, we can all help protect our planet and ourselves.