Doing your bit to help the planet with your weekly shop doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, writes Vicky Shaw.
Many shoppers have become more aware of the impact they’re having on the planet when making purchases, with sustainability high on the agenda and increasingly important.
But at a time when households have become particularly cost-conscious, some may be concerned they can’t necessarily afford to pay for goods which have been produced in a way that’s kinder to the world around them.
Shopping sustainably doesn’t always have to mean paying much more at the till, however. Some small tweaks could make a significant difference, even for those on a budget.
Here are some tips from Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi, for sustainable shopping on a budget…
1. Buy what’s in season
Fruit and vegetables can often be cheaper – and tastier – if they are in season, as there is simply more of them available. Buying food which originated in the UK will also help to support UK-based farmers and help cut ‘food miles’ – the distance the food has travelled to get to your plate.
Over the summer months, for example, you may find supermakets are stocked up with plenty of beetroot, kale and sweetcorn. It can be a good idea to research recipes in advance to inspire you.
2. Cut food waste
A great way of saving money is to eat everything you buy, as it’s estimated that households throw away one-fifth of all the food bought every week. Be wary of ‘multi-buy’ deals that might lead you to buy more than you actually need.
Buying in bulk and cooking up meals that can be frozen and consumed at a later date is an easy way to make the food you buy go further and reduces the chance of having to throw away anything unused. Aldi has a wide range of budget-friendly recipes to help you do more with your leftovers (visit aldi.co.uk/c/recipes).
3. Look out for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish
By choosing seafood with the MSC’s blue fish label you are supporting sustainable fisheries, helping to ensure fish stocks and habitats are healthy and fishing community livelihoods are secure.
4. Go ‘cruelty-free’ when you clean
Many shoppers will look for cruelty-free cosmetics and toiletries, but household cleaning products may also be tested on animals. Cruelty Free International awards its gold standard ‘leaping bunny’ certification across household cosmetics and toiletries.