Preserve Your Environment Sustainability-SMART! Home

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Cloth shopping bags


Almonds in bulk


Fruit stand


Kid recycling

Shop Wisely

It takes a tremendous amount of energy to convert the earth’s resources into the many products we use and eat every day. It also takes a lot of energy to package these products, transport them to stores, and get them from the stores to our homes. And disposing of product packaging contributes waste to the environment. You can save energy and help the environment by shopping wisely:

  • Bring your own cloth shopping bags into the grocery store. When the clerk asks "Paper or plastic?" you can proudly say "Neither!" (If your store offers a discount for bringing your own bags, see if your family will pass that savings along to you!)
  • Buy in bulk. Buying in larger quantities means less packaging to recycle or send to landfills. You can make your own single servings for your school lunches by putting bulk food into reusable containers. You can also save on packaging by reusing plastic, paper, or cloth bags when you purchase from bulk bins.
  • Ask your parents to buy foods grown close to where you live. Visit local fruit stands and farmers markets, or ask your grocery clerk to recommend locally grown produce that hasn’t been flown in from across the globe. This saves energy used for transporting the food to you.
  • Reuse items to save even more energy—avoid products such as bottled water and disposable cameras and razors; repair your clothes, gadgets, and sporting equipment; borrow books from the library or a friend, or buy from a used bookstore.

It takes one 15-year-old tree to make about 700 paper grocery bags. If your family typically buys 7 full bags of groceries per week, you’ll save one tree every 2 years by using cloth shopping bags instead.