Earth Day 2018: Reduce Plastic, Bulk Up!

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Jessico Dickerson
Wellness Lead, Dill Pickle Food Co-op

Earth Day 2018 is taking place once again this Sunday, April 22nd. You might be curious to know that the first Earth Day occurred on April 22nd, 1970 and is the largest secular observance on the world (1). Today people celebrate Earth Day to promote environmental awareness and to push for environmental improvements on a global scale. This year’s Earth Day campaign is “End Plastic Pollution” and is geared towards changing human attitudes about plastic and reducing plastic usage.

You too can participate in this year’s campaign to reduce your plastic consumption. One such effective and affordable means of doing so is by shopping in the bulk bin section of your local grocery store.

Not to be confused with buying in bulk from a large box store. When you “buy in bulk” you often get more of a product than you need with a lot of extra packaging.

Bulk is Green summarizes the benefits of buying from bulk bins:

  1. Saving money — Buying natural and organic foods in the bulk section of the grocery store offers an average savings of 30 percent and 50 percent versus packaged food.
  2. Helping the environment — Eliminating packaging reduces carbon footprints. Buying in bulk mitigates the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and streamlines the transportation needed to deliver goods to market, helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
  3. Reducing food waste — Buying in bulk allows shoppers to make smarter decisions, by purchasing the exact amount of foods they need, as opposed to purchasing consumer packaged goods with a pre-determined amount that may not get used before its expiration date.
  4. Flexibility to buy a pinch or a pound — Buying in bulk offers a broad selection of natural and organic products that can be purchased in the exact quantity desired. If shoppers need a large quantity of nuts for a holiday party or just a pinch of curry powder for a new recipe — bulk foods provide both options. (2)

Shopping in the bulk section also provides the opportunity to buy small quantities to try out new grains/nuts/beans/spices/etc. without having to commit to a whole package.

You can reduce plastic waste even more so by “bringing in your own containers” or BYOC and filling them up, but make sure you get a tare weight at the registers before filling them up.

Remember to Bulk Up this Earth Day!


Sources:
1. https://www.earthday.org/about/
2. https://www.mnn.com/food/recipes/blogs/the-many-benefits-of-buying-bulk-foods