Hands up if you head to the supermarket every single week for your weekly “big shop”? It seems as though this is the way that most people like to fill up their refrigerators, as this allows them to buy the food they need for the week and then cut down on food waste. After all, there’s nothing worse than realising that you bought too many fruits and vegetables and having to throw them in the compost bin because they’re rotten. However, when it comes to food that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge and can be kept in the cupboard for months on end, buying in food in bulk is actually more environmentally friendly than buying smaller packets every week.
You cut down on packaging
Every year, around 295 billion pieces of plastic are thrown away in the United Kingdom, and a huge portion of this plastic cannot be recycled. Instead, it lays in landfill for hundreds of years waiting to decompose – and we all know that that’s not good for the environment. Much of the plastic that we throw away comes from the food that we buy in the supermarket, and people across the country add more and more to it every single week as they go to the shop and buy the same products that they do each time they visit their shop of choice.
Yet, what if you continued buying the food that you love, but in a bigger form? Buying the products that you eat on a regular basis in bulk can help you cut down on plastic, largely because you only have to buy them every once in a while. For example, instead of buying a small packet of rice and throwing away the packaging each week, buy your rice in bulk in one large packet so the produce and the packaging lasts longer.
You cut down on the carbon footprint
Alongside the fact that buying in bulk will cut down on the amount of single-use plastic making its way to our landfill, it will also help companies and individuals to cut down on their carbon footprint. Bulk products can be packed more densely in shipping containers or trucks, which means that they have fewer miles to cover to get all of the product needed to the final destination.
This means that the CO2 emissions released by these forms of transportation are lowered, and any reduction in CO2 emissions is something to be celebrated. However, the reduction in carbon footprint doesn’t end there. If you can buy most of your food in bulk – apart from your fresh produce – you shouldn’t have to take so many trips to the supermarket. Because of this, you may find that your own personal CO2 emissions and your own personal carbon footprint are reduced because you are taking fewer trips in your car.
You can eat much healthier
There are countless reasons why buying in bulk is great for the environment, but it seems as though it could also be great for your health. With many supermarkets and independent shops allowing customers to buy in bulk in terms of fill-your-own stations, it allows people to try out new foods.
With customers able to take their own jars and fill them up with foods such as nuts, pasta, rice, seeds, and grains, it gives people the chance to experiment with their cooking and make healthy alternatives to processed foods that you will find in the supermarket. These processed foods are extremely environmentally-unfriendly, so straying away from these processes will not only help you but also the environment as a whole.
If you have always walked past the larger bulk items in the supermarket and turned your nose up because people would think you were greedy, it’s time to put those thoughts to the side. That’s because buying your food in bulk is one of the most eco-friendly choices that you could make in your life. Why don’t you give it a go? You might surprise yourself.