5 Ways to Love Bulk Section Foods This Earth Month

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The Wall

It seems Earth Month is once again upon us, and you may have already made plans to celebrate the month by riding a bike to work, eating an organic vegetarian meal, banishing paper towels or making sure that lights are turned off in uninhabited rooms.

However, another – sometimes overlooked – way to go green is by purchasing natural and organic foods from the bulk foods section of the grocery store. This not only helps reduce all of the unnecessary packaging that comes with pre-packaged foods – which leads to more landfill waste – but it also helps reduce wasted food in America because shoppers can purchase exactly the amount needed.

To help shoppers experience the environmental benefits of foods from the bulk bins for Earth Month this April, the Bulk is Green Council (BIG), a non-profit organization (of which Attune Foods is a member) dedicated to educating consumers on the environmental and economical benefits of foods from the bulk bins, is once again challenging consumers to take the pledge to Love Bulk Foods. Pledgers will automatically be entered in a drawing for the chance to win a green gift basket filled with everything needed to help create a natural and organic pantry filled with eco-friendly bulk foods. Eco-conscious consumers interested in taking the pledge should visit the Love Bulk Foods page and sign a digital pledge to purchase bulk foods once a week during Earth Month (and hopefully beyond!).

BIG’s 5 easy tips for going green during Earth Month:

1. Store foods from the bulk bins in recycled glass or mason jars: Using recycled jars to store foods is a great way to give pantries a green makeover, while also keeping foods fresh.

2. Think before you buy: Think about what you really need before going to the grocery store. Planning out meals (and making note of exact amounts of food needed for recipes) enables shoppers to purchase only foods that are needed, resulting in less unused food. This makes shopping in the bulk section a breeze because measuring out an exact quantity is simple (the scoops are normally 1 cup in size). Purchasing too much food might result in it sitting in cupboards for months at a time and going bad before being used.

3. Invest in your own coffee mug and bulk coffee beans: Each morning millions of Americans enjoy a cup of joe, but paper and disposable plastic coffee cups pollute the environment, fill our landfills and use up 4 billion gallons of water each year, estimates Visual.ly. Americans can help to reduce waste and even save some money by purchasing personal to-go coffee mugs! Even better, consider buying organic coffee beans from the bulk bins. A US Bulk Foods Study released in 2012 explained that if Americans purchased coffee from the bulk bins for one week during Earth Month, five million pounds of foil packaging waste would be saved from landfills.

4. Forget plastic bags: It’s easy to use plastic bags provided at grocery stores without thinking about what they do to the environment. According to the Clean Air Council, the billions of plastic bags used each year are not biodegradable and cause serious concerns for the food chain and environment. Try purchasing a reusable grocery bag or two to keep in the car. Not only are they better for the environment; they are becoming more affordable (Whole Foods sells reusable bags for about $1 each). Plus, they’re much sturdier and the handles won’t snap from holding the weight of all your bulk items!

5. Buy organic foods for less: Buying organic foods from the bulk section at your local store on average is 89% less expensive than buying their packaged organic counterparts according to the US Bulk Foods Study. When possible, opt for organic bulk foods to save the earth, your health and your wallet!

Ashley Sherrick Bulk is Green

About Ashley Sherrick
Ashley Sherrick is the executive director of the Bulk is Green Council.

Bulk Bin Photo by bcmom

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