Smart Shopping



Between 5 and 10 pounds of garbage is created by each American citizen each day, and approximately one ton is created per year. While some of our garbage is recyclable, most is not recycled. To prevent the useless loss of recyclable material we must REDUCE the AMOUNT WE USE. Use less packaging, buy reusable products and recycled, or recyclable, container and products.


Stores live and die buy the choices that the consumer makes. When you, the consumer, select less packaging, the store managers notice. Consumers spend approximately ten cents of every grocery dollar on packaging, making packaging the fourth largest industry in the United States. The next time you are in the grocery store, send a message that you don't like unnecessary waste. Don't buy individual servings of food or products that are over wrapped. Choose items with the least amount of packaging, and where possible, choose products without packaging.

The best way to avoid over packaging is to buy in bulk when possible. Buying bulk and concentrated items will cost you less, and give more to the environment. If you are not able to buy bulk items because of spoilage, try shopping with a friend.


Ever heard the question, "Paper or plastic?" Which do you think is the best choice? Neither. Both paper and plastic grocery bags are usually made with recycled content. However, the best choice is to bring a reusable bag with you to the store. Whether it is a canvas grocery bag or reusing the plastic or paper bags you already have, it is better for the environment than getting a new bag to throw away at home. Avoid disposable products. Use a sponge, or dish towel, rather than a throwaway wipe. Buy razors with replaceable blades. Use washable plates, cups, and napkins for picnics instead of disposable ones. Use rechargeable batteries. Use reusable containers rather than foil, like the empty butter tub you have already bought and would otherwise throw away.


What is the difference? "Recycled" means that it was made with recycled content. Whereas, "recyclable" means that the product may be recycled. Usually, you can tell by the recycling logo. If there is a triangle of arrows, the product is recyclable. However, if the arrow triangle is within a circle, then the product is made from recycled material. Recycled content products use less natural resources, cost less to manufacture, and usually cost you less.

The next time you go to the grocery store, make some careful choices and send a message to the Manager. They will listen.


Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 602 N. Fifth Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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