Why Bulk Buying is Eco-Friendly
You probably already know that buying in bulk usually means cost savings. Shops typically offer discounts and cheaper prices per unit when you purchase a higher quantity. However, bulk buying is not only economical – it’s eco-friendly as well.
Here are a few reasons to buy in bulk and help contribute to saving our environment.
By buying in bulk you…
Use Fewer Plastic Bags
Australians use about 5 billion plastic bags each year. If you think about it, that’s about 13 million plastic bags we use each day. Picking up a plastic bag, you might not think you’re making much of an impact. But every person’s actions count for something. Particularly when you consider that much plastic ends up polluting our oceans. It’s time for us to acknowledge how we are affecting marine life and our children’s future.
When you think of buying in bulk, you probably think of bulk buying dry goods such as grains, legumes, spices, nuts, dried fruit and cereal. You either bring your own containers or fill a paper bag with dried foods and pay for them by weight – thus saving yourself money and saving the environment from single use plastic bags.
There are many other products you can buy in bulk. As long as you have enough room to store them, toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning products are pretty good bets to buy in bulk. Along with anything else that you regularly use that doesn’t have a short shelf-life. I especially love Who Gives A Crap for their forest-friendly paper towels and toilet paper.
Reduce Packaging Waste
Buying in bulk helps us to save on packaging waste. Individual products sold in supermarkets are predominantly packaged in plastic. Much of the plastic packaging on these individually packaged products is unnecessary and contributes to a more expensive price. Most plastic packaging also contains harmful chemicals that can leach into water and soil, adversely affecting both on the environment and the food chain (that humans are at the top of).
Possibly one of the easiest and quickest ways to change this is by purchasing in bulk, where you either bring your own packaging or purchase larger quantities packaged in recyclable materials. Cardboard and paper packaging are ultimately better for the environment – since they can be composted and turned into soil for your garden.
Minimise Transport Pollution
Buying in bulk means you use your car to travel fewer times to purchase a larger amount of goods. Or if you order your bulk goods to be delivered, larger packages mean the delivery truck can be packed more efficiently. With more efficient transportation, you’re doing your part in saving the environment too by helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
Enjoy Fresher Products
It’s well known that bulk stores have a higher stock turnover. People purchase more product each time and there is no chance of older packages being pushed to the back of the shelves. This is good news for you as it means you’ll be getting your hands on fresher goods. High stock turnover also means less waste compared to regular shops as the food doesn’t reach it’s best before date in-store.
Tips For Bulk Buying
- Prepare your storage space beforehand. You may need containers to store your bulk purchases. I like to save large glass jars for storing my dry goods in the bottom of my pantry. I keep boxes of toilet paper on a shelf in the garage and pails of castile soap under the sink in the laundry. It’s just a short walk to another room when something needs topping up.
- Combine your purchases with others. Team up with a family member, neighbour or friend to buy (and save) more. Have your goods delivered to one person’s address. When the order arrives, share it between you all using your own containers.
- Pay attention to shelf-life. In your enthusiasm to save time, money and the environment be careful not to overstock too. Some products do have shorter shelf life and it pays to consider how much you will actually use before they expire. Some body care products, especially eco-friendly or small batch ones for example, do lose their effectiveness in time.
- When buying in bulk, cost per unit is king so get ready to do some calculations and enjoy the savings.
There are many good reasons to buy in bulk. Not only is it economical, it’s also a savvy and eco-friendly option for a guilt-free lifestyle. If you have always wanted to do something to help save our planet, then try this small and easy step. It won’t cost you a lot (in fact it should save you money) and you don’t have to make much effort either – it’s simply a small tweak to the way you regularly shop!