A produce stand. Some fruits are loose in their boxes, others are in plastic wrapped packages.
Categories: The Parish Column

Good BUY vs. Good BYE: An Eco Perspective on Consumption

by Polly Vail, Eco Action Team Member

Shopping is fraught these days. It’s challenging to be in stores and to find the products we need and want. I have been considering purchases with a perspective that some products are a good BUY, while others aren’t worthy of consideration at all. I can pass the latter products over and put them in the good BYE category. 

If a product comes in a plastic container, or is individually wrapped in plastics it’s off my list and good BYE! 

If it has toxic chemicals that can leach into the soil and into the food chain, it’s off my list and good BYE! 

If the product is healthy, delicious, creates cleanliness, is priced fairly, has value, and a good use, it’s a good BUY and goes into the cart. One of the quickest ways to find good BUYS is to buy in bulk, especially if you have your own packaging or container, and especially now, since you may be buying in bulk for new reasons or for the first time. Cleaning products, nuts, dried fruits, coffee, rice, pasta, grains, chocolate, are just a few products that are readily available in bulk and, as such, qualify as good BUYS. 

When you buy in bulk, you are also enjoying very fresh products. Bulk stores (or bulk sections in grocery stores) have high stock turnover. You are never at risk of getting old packages from the back of the shelf when you buy in bulk, and your food isn’t at risk of reaching its expiration date. 

Unfortunately, plastic grocery bags are now being touted as protecting shoppers from the virus. So, it’s more important that ever to not show demand for new plastic bags. Use ones you have on hand, or use other bags for shopping, but we can still say good BYE to plastic bags in stores. 

I find one of the easiest ways to abide by my eco-ethics is to make intentional good BUY vs. good BYE decisions. 

I hope you are all faring well and feeling well!