We’ve all heard about reuse, reduce, and recycle. But with the modern environmental problems of today, we all might need to do more than that. Taking a more sustainable or eco-friendly approach to living involves thinking about our carbon footprint and our rate of consumption of certain items. Living sustainably also involves being mindful of the products we purchase from the grocery or big box stores, looking at packaging to determine if they are biodegradable or compostable. Single use plastics have long been a culprit of major waste that ends up in landfills and the ocean so it’s no surprise that one of the first steps to living more sustainably is to consider the packaging of things we purchase. A good tip is to buy in bulk to avoid multiple bottles such as those found in single-use bottles, coffee cups, and more. When visiting the grocery, you can opt to bring your own canvas bags so you can decline a single use plastic bag that’s often used to wrap fruits and other foods. To get you started on your sustainable living journey, here are a few items you should consider.
Sustainably Living: Essentials You Need for a Trip to the Market
1. White Raspberry Cottage Reusable Natural Organic Canvas & Jute Grocery Shopping Bag, 3 Pack
Say goodbye to single use plastics for the rest of your life with the White Raspberry Cottage organic cotton shopping bags for an eco-friendly, sustainable, and mindful lifestyle. These reusable bags are made of 100% 10oz cotton canvas and jute grocery and use premium natural cotton webbing handles for comfort and strength so you can use it for a lifetime. It measures 12 x 14.5 x 6 inches, making it just the perfect size for grocery shopping. It is equipped with wide cotton webbing handles that are sturdy and comfortable and include an all-around gusset allowing for maximum storage. Its handles are also 24 x 1.5 inches wide with an 11-inch drop for perfect shoulder handling. The best part? It comes in whimsical prints and is made in Virginia, so you know you’re supporting an American brand with every purchase. These White Raspberry Cottage bags are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Super cute! Really well made and durable. I love that it has a flat bottom. Nice size that can hold a lot of stuff and cute enough to use other places than just the farmers market or grocery store.” Gala Christianson
2. Lemonfilter 5 Pack Reusable Cotton Mesh Foldable and Washable Cotton String Grocery Net Totes Shopping Bags, 5 Pack
Heading to the farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce and fruits? Make sure you’re equipped with these net totes from Lemonfilter. This pack of five makes for great sharing with family and friends or as a gift for someone you’d like to share sustainable living with. This set includes three beige bags, one orange bag, and one forest green bag. Each is made of 100% cotton, durable, eco-friendly and good breathability for storage of food items. It’s also machine washable so it’s easy to maintain and can be used for life, enabling you to finally say goodbye to pesky plastics. It also features a large capacity so you can buy in bulk! Each bag measures 13.8 x 23.6 inches and can hold up to 40 lbs of weight. Its cotton netting can also expand to accommodate more items but the bag itself is light and can easily be tossed into your purse. It’s also equipped with 21 inch longer and extra thickened handles for durability. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “These are wonderful! They seem to be very durable, made well and are perfect for my needs. Nice long handles, comfortable and beautiful colors. Very lightweight but hold fruits and veggies with plenty of room so as not to crush them.” Lynne Wojahn
3. WiseLife Insulated Reusable Shopping Bags Grocery Bags with Handles, 2 Pack
Made with premium-quality rip-stop fabric on the exterior, and thick heavy-duty thermal EPE insulation material on the interior, these insulated produce bags can carry up to 30 lbs worth of food items. The cooler bag is equipped with a zipped top to keep food and drinks cold or warm for hours so you need not worry about grocery items getting spoiled while you’re stuck in traffic. These insulated shopping bags easily fold up flat for effortless storage at home or even in your car. When empty, they stand upright with rigid construction, ready to be filled up with all the good stuff you get from the market or grocery. No more worrying about ice cream or other perishables while on the road. Each bag also comes with long handles with strong and durable edge cover stitching so you can use it for longer. These Wiselife bags measure 16 x 13 x 9 inches. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I bought this set as a gift. I had already purchased a set for myself. I love using these at the grocery store. I put all my juice, milk, frozen and cold items in these and I’m not using 10 plus plastic bags!” Sheff22
4. Forid Extra Thick Leakproof Reusable Gallon Freezer Bags, 6 Pack
Keep your freezer organized and plastic-free with the Forid reusable freezer bags, which are made from upgraded FDA food-grade and eco-friendly PEVA material, which is silicone & plastic-free, PVC-free, chloride-free, BPA-FREE, and also free of harmful chemicals. Featuring a thickened design, these reusable gallon freezer bags offer more space so you can store fresh meats or even marinated ones. It also features a double lock zipper technology that offers an airtight, leakproof, and sealing effect, perfect for storing and preserving food. The best part? They’re so easy to clean. Thousands of customers love these freezer bags, which have an overall customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon.
Promising review: “The bags are perfect! Unlike others I use, they seal tightly and do not leak liquids. Also love that they are made of biodegradable material!” Kaley Crawford
5. Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag, Green Rainbow (Stand-Up Mid)
Made from pure non-toxic platinum silicone, the Stasher food grade storage bag is the world’s first fully functional, self-sealing, reusable alternative to single-use plastic bags. They are made from materials that do not contain BPA, PVC, or latex. With every use of the Stasher, you help reduce plastic waste that ends up in the ocean. These bags are great for keeping food safe and clean from the grocery to your home and kitchen. It features an innovative air-tight, pinch-loc seal to keep food fresh to store, marinade, and sous vide. Lock in food’s nutrients, flavors and juices with these bags that can easily be pinched to keep air out. These versatile bags are safe for use in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher, boiling water, and oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The Stasher bags have an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Love these bags! They are my go to lunch bags for a sandwich and some smaller item like string cheese. They seal great and hold up against the abuse of being packed around in my backpack at work. The fact that they reduce the amount of single use plastics on this planet make me oh so happy as well. Highly recommend. I have even given them as gifts to family and friends and are a big hit.” Melody B.
Sustainable Living for Your Kitchen
1. Trifecta Living Co. Hunnybee Beeswax Reusable Food Wraps 7 Packs
Say goodbye to cling plastics that will end up in landfills and oceans and say hello to durable and reusable beeswax food wraps, a versatile new way to keep food safe and fresh in and outside your refrigerator. These Hunnybee beeswax reusable food wraps are expertly made from organic cotton, organic jojoba oil, ethically harvested beeswax, and tree resin. The fabric used is Global Organic Textile Standard certified and are biodegradable, sustainable, and a natural alternative to plastic wraps. It even uses 100% recycled paper for packaging! These versatile food wraps can store sandwiches, breads, fruit, cheese, and can even seal containers such as bowls of salad or other foods. It comes in three different sizes, with a pair of small 7 x 8 inch sized wraps, three 10 x 11 inch medium sized wraps, and two 13 x 14 large sized wraps. These wraps are durable and long-lasting and can easily be molded over any bowl with just the warmth of one’s hands. This product is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “These work better than I had hoped. They seal surprisingly well and easier than I thought although I wouldn’t trust them more than tupperware. But they’re a great replacement to saran wrap! I haven’t had them long enough to comment on durability but very happy so far with them.” Katie Bennitt
2. Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers, 3-Piece Set
Those who are looking to replace all plastic food containers in their house with glass containers may want to consider the Pyrex brand, a world renowned, well loved brand that offers durability and long term use. Featuring three versatile sizes, this three-piece set includes a 2-cup glass storage container, 4-cup glass storage container, and a 7-cup glass storage container, all made with high-quality tempered glass that is dishwasher, freezer, microwave and preheated oven safe. The non-porous glass will not absorb food odors, flavors, or stains, making it great for storing food. It also comes with BPA free secure-fit plastic lids that are freezer, microwave and top-rack dishwasher safe. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “This container has been pushed from counter to floor twice by my cat and yet did not break. The bowl flipped over, landing on the lid, which evidently cushioned the fall but also confirms the seal is strong as is the glass.” BevDo
3. MCIRCO Glass Meal Prep Containers with Lifetime Lasting Snap Locking Lids, 36 oz 5 Pack
Those who prepare meals for the entire week will enjoy having the MCIRCO glass containers, a handy and eco-friendly way to store food in your refrigerator. These meal prep containers offer a single compartment and come with lids. It’s made from high quality borosilicate glass that can easily go straight from the refrigerator to the microwave or oven to the table in no time. It comes with airtight smart-locking lids that come with silicone seals to ensure better freshness. This item is food safe and BPA-free and is safe for use in the microwave, freezer, dishwasher, and oven (remove lides before placing in the dishwasher, oven, or microwave). Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “The glass is very sturdy as well as the lids. Easy to clean and maintain. Fits a large amount of food for storage or transport for work or outings.” Rob
4. Estilo Dairy Reusable Glass Milk Bottles with Metal Lids, 33.8 oz, Set of 4
When shopping for milk and other liquid products in eco-friendly stores that offer bring your own container services, go for this set of high quality reusable glass milk bottles from Estilo. These glass bottles are ideal for milk, juices, shakes, smoothies, cocktails, water, and more. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with metal screw-on lids. It’s a great eco-friendly way to say goodbye to single use plastic bottles for good. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “These bottles are well made and do not leak when the cap is screwed on. Also, I love the design on the bottle. Would recommend these.” Gina
5. Le Parfait Super Jar Wide Mouth French Glass with Rubber Seal, 2 Liters
Great for storing dry goods such as beans and the like, this Le Parfait glass preserving jar is a gorgeous addition to your pantry. It features a rounded glass body, which is the European chefs’ traditional style for professional preserves, a wide opening and attached glass lid for quick handling and filling of bulk goods, and fluid interior curves that allows access to every morsel. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy maintenance. This high quality glass container does not absorb food odors and is non-reactive so it effectively protects your food. Its super rubber seals are latex-free. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “We used this for making refrigerator pickles. It is a good size and the lid seals well. It is easy to disassemble for cleaning.” Annette P.
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