What Can You and Your Grocery Store Do to be More Sustainable?

What Can You and Your Grocery Store Do to be More Sustainable?


  • Locally-grown produce requires less transportation from farm to table – this saves energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Buy bulk foods whenever possible–bulk foods have less packaging and generate less waste after consumption.
  • Diversion of packaging is also of critical importance. Grocery stores use large amounts of cardboard. At the Mollie Stones in San Mateo County, for instance, they recycle 18 tons of cardboard each week!
  • A sustainable grocery should offer reusable tote bags instead of paper or plastic.
  • Advocate for organic farming in all grocery stores, so everything has to be natural which in turn, sustains the Earth.
  • Advocate for the store to stop handing out plastic bags all together. Some counties like ones in San Diego have already banned using paper or plastic bags all together. If your grocery store has not succeeded in this yet, then bring in your own reusable bag. CVS stores sell reusable bags and offer $1 every four visits to their store if you use the bag. Also other counties near by, such as Santa Clara, have declared stores to charge customers if they would like a bag.
  • Advocate for all containers to be recyclable, meaning no Styrofoam containers.
  • Stop buying plastic water bottles and start using canteens.
  • Support local grocery stores. Most of the food on the American plate has traveled 1,500 miles. There are more than 20 farmers markets each week, in San Mateo County. Look at a schedule here.
  • Finally, when shopping for chicken buy it whole. It requires less packaging and less processing which means less waste.

Help save the planet! Slowly but surely you can make a difference whether you see the immediate change or not, mother Earth thanks you.

Take Action:

  • Use your reusable grocery bags! Almost every grocery store offers them at low cost.
  • Look for the “As Fresh As It Gets” logo on the produce you buy. This signifies that your produce was grown locally in San Mateo County.
  • Buy a “Local Food Wheel” which will guide you in your efforts to buy local.

Sustainable San Mateo County

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