Green Grocery Stores

Apr 28th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

In my last blog I wrote about the Johnson family that produces zero waste by minimizing the use of wrappers that items come in.

Everybody is trying to eliminate plastic. Sometimes, reusable cloth bags are promoted in grocery store. However, into that cloth bag goes an awful lot of plastic in which various grocery items are wrapped, such as a plastic bottle of milk, chicken wrapped in plastic, a toothbrush in plastic, toothpaste in a plastic tube, a plastic bag of vegetables, a plastic bag of apples, etc., etc. All of this plastic is immediately trashed.

If the Johnson Family model is to be adopted by all, then green stores without such plastic usage must exist. By green stores I mean stores in which groceries are stored together in large containers and buyers have to come with their own reusable containers to carry groceries in. For example, clean bottles you take with you to fill up milk from the big milk containers.

In order to save our planet from the curse of plastic, we must make it possible for people to live zero waste, not just tell them to do so. Therefore, it is vital that these special, green stores be set up in the United States and all over the developing world alongside normal stores, with the view to phasing out normal stores altogether. Or, the normal stores can have a green store section within them, whose competitive prices will attract customers.

In order to pack the food that you bought, you would put each type of food in special reusable jars that you carry with you to the store in a cloth bag. Once the jars are filled, you can carry the same back to your car in the shopping cart. If you want to walk or bike, you will have to carry the jars in a carry on basket on the wheels made from wood or something weaved up from natural material. These jars would last for a long time. All grocery items that are wrapped in plastic like meat, or greens, or nuts can be purchased like this.

In this system, your house will also look different. In your kitchen, everything would be stored in jars. Liquids are stored in bottles, as usual, except these are ones you always have. Sugar, spices, leaves, everything is in jars which you can always refill.

So, in the end, there isn’t much to throw out.

However, reflecting the fact that the old institutions are in place in spite of great environmental damage, living like this will be a bit more difficult. You may have to thoroughly wash the jars all the time, If you don’t, there might be a greater chance of being sick. And, it is very cumbersome to carry lots of jars.

Americans are a comfort loving nation. However, they are also aware of the damage plastic causes to earth. This article, unlike the previous one, is not directly concerned with telling people to live zero waste, but with a system that would make it possible. That means that we must persuade the stores to add such departments.

One reason wrappers and bags made of plastic or paper are used to pack food, rather than jars, is that these wrappers weigh almost nothing and are easy to carry. To address this problem, shopping jars can be divided into small, medium, and big sizes, and the computer at the cash register can be programmed to recognize each size and exclude its weight.

There might be a good reason that meat is wrapped up in a thin film of plastic so tightly. It helps to prevent it from getting bad. Okay, wrappers have varying degrees of importance, buts let’s focus on the change we need.

Of course, we might also use substitute for plastic such as paper, but not using anything at all is much better. Paper comes from cutting down trees, which causes deforestation.

Green stores can be spread in every locality so that anyone anywhere who decides to live zero waste can have a local green store. Cheaper prices will be the most important factor behind the success of green stores.

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