Did you know that your food shopping can impact the environment? Just changing your food buying habits can significantly effect and improve the world you live. Below are tips to follow when you next go shopping.

1. Take a list

When you go to the supermarket – go with a plan. Planning your meals ahead and purchasing only what you need will mean that you will not buy things you won’t use and consequently throw away.

2. Choose Seasonal Food

Seasonal food is grown in harmony with nature rather than growing food at times of the year they are not meant to be. Ever noticed strawberries in December don’t taste as nice as strawberries in June? Eating seasonally means that the food will taste better, less pesticides will be used and the food is often cheaper. It also makes it easier to eat local or foods with less air miles. Click here to find out which foods are in season with this seasonal food calendar

Seasonal food calendar

3. Choose Local Food or UK based food

Buying local food means your food shopping is supporting local businesses and farmers, and the food has not traveled far – reducing its environmental impact . It will also mean that the food is more likely to have been grown seasonally, though this is not always the case. Even if you don’t have a farm shop or local farmers market, just choosing food in the supermarket grown in the UK is enough to reduce its environmental impact.

4. Choose wonky fruit and veg

Wonky carrots

Selecting the wonkiest fruit and veg will show the supermarkets that you are happy to have wonky fruit and veg. Often the imperfect fruit and veg are thrown away or used as animal feed, which means that farmers are not able to get as much money for their crops. Consequently encouraging farmers to use all sorts of chemicals to obtain a ‘perfect’ fruit and veg.

Next time you are shopping pick up those wonky carrots – they all look the same cut up anyway.

5. Choose Organic Food

Choosing food that has not been treated with pesticides is one way to help our environment. Organic food shopping is a great way to know that pesticides that haven’t been used. Not using pesticides and has been proven to improve the biodiversity of the environment. The organic range is increasing in the supermarkets, however they don’t always sell everything. A great way to get hold of UK organic food would be with a fruit and veg box, you can find your local organic box here.

Organic food can be expensive so it is not always easy to go organic. Luckily the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) has made a list of fruit and veg that use the most and least pesticides so you can be more informed and know where it is best to invest in organic food.

6. Choose less or no packaging

Choose foods with less or no packaging and where possible re-use. Instead of using plastic bags for loose fruit and veg use a reusable bag or no bag at all. If you do have to choose an item with packaging, make sure it is recyclable or biodegradable. The less packaging you buy the less times you need to take the bin out.

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How to shop for food to improve your environment,


Chris · 10th June 2020 at 5:45 pm


I have the remains of a water butt stand (I suppose I should have tried to repair it, but it’s a bit late as I have sawn it in half.

It has a triangle with a 2 inside it and it’s labelled PE (memories of cross country running and cold showers with the pervy teachers looking at you – Ugh!)

Which I think means it is made of HDPE.

Can I cut this up into small pieces and put it in kerbside recycling?

And if so, will all the bits be acceptable even though only one of them will now bear the magic recycling symbol?

Best regards


    Fiona · 12th June 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Chris,

    2 in a triangle does mean HDPE. I would first double check your local authority takes this material before putting it in the recycling.

    As for cutting it up, that would be perfectly ok and it doesn’t matter if there is no recycling symbol as plastics are generally sorted using a fancy infrared gadget 🙂

    I hope this helps

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