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Five Eco-Friendly Shopping Tips

We’d all like to do more to help the environment, but it isn’t easy to know where to start. Your Food Town is here with a friendly reminder that it doesn’t take some grand gesture to make a difference. Even small adjustments to everyday tasks, such as efforts for more eco-friendly shopping, can do a world of good.

Here, our grocery pros lay out a few eco-friendly shopping tips you can implement on your next visit to Food Town. Read on, take note — and then take pride knowing you’re doing your part to look out for the environment.

Woman with fresh produce in eco-friendly shopping bag
Eco-friendly shopping bags are a simple way to lower your carbon footprint during your weekly grocery run.

Make Good Use of Reusable Shopping Bags
Believe it or not, the average household takes home an astounding 1,500 plastic bags each year! And no more than 3% of those are ever recycled. That’s a lot of plastic waste with the potential to end up in our landfills — but reusable shopping bags can substantially reduce that stat.

Reusable shopping bags have gained popularity in recent years, partly due to their sheer versatility. The same bag you use to pick up produce from your neighborhood grocery store can hold school supplies, serve as a gift bag alternative and more. And if you don’t have reusable bags, or you forget to grab them from your trunk? No problem! You can purchase maroon and white reusable shopping bags at any Food Town.

Buy Seasonal Produce
Why would it matter which fruits and veggies you grab on your grocery run? When you buy fruits and vegetables in season, they don’t have to travel halfway around the world from farms in other countries. Shopping seasonal produce helps cut down on global shipping and the carbon emissions associated with it. And as an added bonus, because it costs less to ship, you’ll get a better price!

Curious about how to know what to buy — and when? The Texas Department of Agriculture offers a handy guide that breaks things down by season. Here’s a small glimpse at when to buy some of the more popular seasonal produce in Texas:

  • Apples: June – November
  • Blueberries: May – July
  • Broccoli: December – March
  • Cantaloupe: May – July, October – November
  • Carrots: Year-Round
  • Celery: December – April
  • Green Onion: May – October
  • Lettuce: April – October
  • Mushrooms: Year-Round
  • Peaches: April – August
  • Pecans: October – January
  • Potatoes: April – September
  • Spinach: November – April
  • Sweet Potatoes: August – May
  • Tomatoes: May – November
  • Watermelon: May – November

Support Local Farmers, Growers & Companies
Along the same lines of purchasing seasonal produce, buying local means your products don’t need to be shipped long distances. That’s fewer trucks on the road and less fuel consumed. Even better? When you support local farmers and other businesses, you support your local community and others nearby!

Your Food Town is proud to offer a number of products sourced from local farmers and producers. Kountry Boys Sausage is based out of nearby Brenham, Texas, while Zummo Meat Co is housed in Beaumont. Best Maid pickles are based a bit farther away in Fort Worth, while Mamá Julia products come from right here in Houston! That’s just the start of the local companies whose products have a home on our shelves. Be sure to check the labels on your next visit!

Combine Your Grocery Shopping with Other Errands
Life is busy, neighbor, and it seems like it gets harder every day to work errands into schedules. If you put a bit of added thought into planning out your grocery shopping, however, you can often accomplish multiple things at once — while also saving time and gas. That adds up to a smaller carbon footprint and cleaner air for everyone!

We recommend sitting down once a week and putting your family’s needs down on paper. Do you need to head to the grocery? Are there gifts to grab or bills to pay? Whatever your family needs to accomplish, jot it all down and then put some thought to it. Plan out your errands on the days that work best for you, and group like tasks together where you can.

Food Town Service Centers, located inside all of our stores, make it easy to tackle all sorts of tasks. Make copies, pay bills, buy stamps and even wire money — all while you’re taking care of your weekly grocery needs! Our Gift Card Malls also offer great gift options for top retailers and restaurants, taking yet another errand off your plate.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Hey, this old adage exists for a reason. When you reduce, reuse and recycle, you do a lot to help cut down on the waste weighing our planet down — and help create a cleaner Earth. Even if you’re already doing your part to recycle, there’s a good chance you can up your efforts in a way that’s pretty effortless!

Egg cartons are a great place to start seedlings or organize small items, for instance. And did you know you can fold up the ends of a toilet paper roll, fill it with soil and seeds — then plant it directly into the ground? Kiddos love playing kitchen or store with empty boxes saved from your grocery runs, and plastic containers can often be put to good use for road trip snacks or organization. The possibilities are endless — and the creative thinking can be pretty fun. How many ways can you reduce, reuse and recycle?

Eco-friendly shopping doesn’t have to be difficult. And your efforts do a lot of good for our planet. We hope to see you (and your reusable shopping bag) soon at your Food Town. Thanks for looking out for the environment!

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