Some grocers are not only looking to decrease their food waste in an effort of becoming more eco-friendly, but also limit their carbon footprint.
Taking a stroll down the aisles of a grocery store will show you it’s not simple to determine any given food item’s environmental impact. The food industry is a huge player in environmental problems like:
- Land-use change
- Excess fertilizer run-off
- Water wastage
And this doesn’t say anything about the greenhouse gas emissions linked with:
- Food processing
Carbon emissions are a great representative for many of these environmental problems.
It takes a lot of responsibility to be “sustainable”, but stores that ethically do their fair share of environmental affairs receive the reward of unprecedented marketing opportunities.
Information Resources Inc. gave a report supporting the idea there are many tangible benefits. Out of 22,000 consumers polled, one-fifth said they were “sustainability-driven,” and required a service or product to have a minimum of two eco-friendly elements before they’d buy anything from them. And, according to IRI’s research, all age groups were active in this trend.
Benefits of Grocery Stores Going Green
There are many benefits of grocery stores going green, including:
1. Being More Accessible
Local stores are more accessible because they can run their business in their local communities. They can easily bring their products to their customers since their customers are close. For example, look at any farmers market. Customers can conveniently access various types of local homegrown produce without having to leave their own community. They can handily bike or walk to their local market and start shopping the stalls. On the flip side, larger department and grocery store chains are usually not centrally located. And, since they require more space, they often must move away from the community, meaning customers are then forced to drive to the stores, increasing their carbon footprint and fuel consumption.
2. Protecting Wildlife and Local Land
Purchasing locally also helps protect wildlife and local lands. When you buy local, you’re supporting local producers and farmers. These farms, with your support, can stay in operation. Since the farms are operated and owned by local producers and farmers, they aren’t being bought out by local developers that would totally transform the land and devastate the wildlife that considers it home. Or, large business producers could purchase the farm and turn it into non-eco-friendly and inhumane farming practices.
3. Giving Off Fewer Carbon Emissions
When there’s less processing, there’s less carbon. A lot of environmentalists claim the greatest carbon emissions in their food products come from their production, not their transportation. For instance, frozen carrots have far greater carbon footprint than fresh carrots because of the additional processing needed for preparing and freezing them. When you cook your own lasagna from fresh ingredients, it’s greener and tastier than getting any microwavable or premade kind, even if it’s organic.
4. Consuming Less Red Meat
The livestock industry by itself accounts for 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Buying more sustainable meat products could help cut down on pollution locally and merely switching to a different meat type could affect your climate footprint – beef’s carbon emissions are eight times that of chickens.
5. Offering Fresher Produce
By purchasing and eating local, customers can enjoy fresh and nutritious produce. Many local producers praise themselves for keeping their products:
This is not only beneficial to customers, but it’s also beneficial to the environment. When you keep harmful toxins, such as pesticides, out of the air, it helps improve the air quality and crops. Additionally, since the product and brought to the table from the farm and it’s fresh, there’s less waste. Many larger retailers have substantial food waste because the items go bad before they’re purchased.
6. Packaging Equals Waste
When you buy food, you likely think about the quality of the food, not the package it comes in. However, packaging involves a lot of refining of plastics as well as other materials that end up in landfills. It’s a big source of carbon emissions.
For instance, creating plastic yogurt containers uses much more energy than any other part of the production process, which includes making the yogurt. If you can, purchase products in bulk to minimize packaging or at least purchase products with reusable or recyclable packaging. Packaging also plays a role in the checkout line when the cashier or bagger asks you if you prefer paper or plastic. You may be surprised to find out plastic bags have fewer carbon emissions, and they’re reusable like trash bags. Your best option is always to bring your own custom reusable grocery bag.
7. Knowing the Labels
Because eco-friendly foods are popular, it’s led to a lot of misleading food industry claims. Before you purchase any item with a green claim, research and see what the label says. For instance, there are USDA guidelines that all “organic” certifying agencies need to follow, but the label “free-range” only regulates poultry.
When you’re evaluating the items, look for certain certifying agency logos like “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” and not simply general claims like “cruelty-free.” Also, going organic can make a huge difference for different foods than others so look out for produce particularly that’s typically grown with a lot of pesticide applications.
Reuse This Bag Can Help Your Grocery Store Go Green
Reusable grocery bags carrying your store’s branding create a tangible connection with the customers that use it. Here at ReuseThisBag, we have dozens of types of custom reusable shopping totes that you can customize with our store’s:
- Physical address
- And more
In addition to the traditional grocery style material bag, you may also consider recycled laminated bags, custom canvas bags, custom drawstring bags, custom folding reusable bags, or even custom non woven bags. By providing your current customers (and employees) with a custom made reusable grocery bag, you raise awareness of your company’s offerings in your local marketplace. Your reusable bag becomes a walking ad or walking billboard if you will.
You should also know that although reusable grocery bags are often used for customers to carry their groceries, most consumers view them as all-purpose, practical items.
Request a reusable grocery bag quote today and get started!