What’s the best way to shop green?
Buying green products is a great start to becoming a more eco-friendly consumer and leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Unfortunately, many companies have caught onto the trend of “buying green” and put misleading words or phrases on their packaging to capture more of this market. Words such as nontoxic, environmentally safe, nonpolluting, natural, no CFC’s and DEA free do not indicate an environmentally friendly product or manufacturing procedure.
These words are usually in reference to health benefits and not necessarily environmental benefits. Instead look out for words such as organic, biodegradable, recycled (preferably 30 percent or more) and sustainable. If you see terms like these on the label, you know you are buying a greener product and thus becoming a more sustainable consumer.
You can make your grocery experience greener too by being aware of what kinds of produce are least detrimental to the environment. It is always the best choice to buy organic when being an eco-friendly consumer, but organic is usually more expensive and sometimes a college budget cannot afford it. If you are going to buy non-organic there are variables to consider next time you’re produce aisle.
Certain fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of pesticide contamination than others, according to the Environmental Working Group. There is even a list called the Dirty Dozen, which lists the 12 types of produce with the highest pesticide concentrations ranging from 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. This list includes celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, domestic blueberries, nectarines, sweet bell peppers, spinach, cherries, potatoes, imported grapes and lettuce.
Ideally, it is both healthier for you and the environment to fork up the extra cash to bypass the conventional type and go for the organic kind, which would reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80 percent. Hopefully these easy tips can help you be a more informed and greener consumer next time you head out to shop.
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