Buy this, not that: Small switches for eco-friendly shopping

2019 has so far been the year everyone was being encouraged to do their part in saving the planet from pollution and waste.

While there are many new and trendy ways to save the planet, one tried and true practice any eco-noob can start with is shifting to eco-friendly shopping—and this doesn’t just mean bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery.

It starts with what you buy 

So let’s say you’re on your way to being an environment-friendly shopper, how do you know which products will complement your new lifestyle? After all, what you put in your grocery cart matters and where it came from matters just as much.

One easy choice would be products with packaging that produce less waste, can be recycled, and took less energy and resource to make or re-use.

Groceries in glass packaging could be number one on your list because glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over endlessly without compromising its quality. Another great thing about glass is when it’s recycled, it doesn’t cost manufacturers much resources or energy to re-use it, all they have to do is wash and reload and they’re good to go!

Sharing glass packaging’s endlessly-recyclable quality is aluminum cans—hailed as the most sustainable beverage container and valuable package even when thrown away. Apart from also being 100% recyclable, the lightweight aluminum packaging of your favorite sodas are easy to stack and transport, limiting overall transportation carbon emissions.

Apart from these, products in recycled carton packaging and high-value plastic are great choices too. Now before you completely write off plastic from your life, you have to know that not all plastic packaging are created equal. Despite being a mouthful to say, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a really good, highly-recyclable type of plastic prized for its strength, stability even when heated, and transparency. PETs can be recycled back into its bottle form and can be upcycled into lots of stable resilient stuff like furniture and even walling.

And to double down on PET’s high value, manufacturers like Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) have started “lightweighting” their PET bottles, which diverts solid waste from ending up in landfills by using less material to make each bottle. This results in “lighter” PETs that feel thinner yet still sturdy, not compromising the quality of the product it houses, to date Pepsi’s local bottling firm has reduced plastic resin in its packaging by 863.4 metric tons (MT).

In fact, PCPPI has effectively lightweighted its other packaging materials for beverages like glass—available at sari-sari stores and carinderias—and carton, effectively reducing material for glass by 6,467.5 MT and carton by 921.35 MT which make them doubly environmentally-friendly.

Where did they come from? 

Another criteria you can use to choose your products could be knowing where they were made.

Compared to swanky imported products, locally made and manufactured goods spell G-O-O-D not just for local producers but for the environment as well.

Local businesses utilize resources within their reach from sourcing to manufacturing and production. Aside from benefitting local farmers and workers, businesses close to your neighborhood will produce less carbon emissions when it comes to transporting their goods, and this doesn’t just apply to small businesses.

Even big businesses, with their recent pledges to save the environment, emit less pollution with their deliveries by opening manufacturing hubs nationwide while maximizing delivery routes to transport their goods. Less trips, mean less fuel consumption and less carbon emissions. PCPPI is also contributing to this cause by getting the most done in their deliveries by getting bigger trucks that use less fuel to transport more products to any partner outlet and sari-sari store close to any of their 13 plants nationwide.

With these easy considerations, supporting the environmental movement doesn’t need to be complicated to do. The environment will need all the help it can get and there’s definitely more work to be done, but these small steps can help build sustainable habits for everyone until we can all start pitching in big. Not only that, these simple choices also help support and encourage companies like PCPPI to continue their sustainable efforts. Anyone can pick up better-packaged products in the grocery, and with manufacturers like PCPPI improving on their packaging, switching up your shopping won’t be hard at all.

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