BERKELEY'S NEWS • OCTOBER 01, 2022

Guide to green grocery shopping

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NICK QUINLAN | SENIOR STAFF

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JULY 21, 2022

Want to reinvent your grocery shopping this summer? Looking for more sustainable cleaning supplies? This is your go-to guide for green summer shopping.

Farmers markets

Not only do they make a perfect addition to a calm summer day, farmers markets are also the perfect place to up your produce game this summer. The vendors at farmers markets are small businesses or local farms, meaning their products are oftentimes produced more sustainably. 

Local produce is already more sustainable because less transportation is needed, so by buying from local farmers, you’re doing your part to lessen your carbon footprint. 

Here’s another tip: Follow the seasons. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season currently instead of produce that is shipped in from around the world regardless of the season. Farmers markets always sell produce that’s in season locally. 

Not sure what to make with produce in season? Ask vendors! That’s another big plus to shopping at farmers markets: It’s a more personal experience. I’m sure sellers can give you some great recipes to try out with this summer’s produce. 

Pick your own

Another hack for fresh produce is taking a short day trip to Brentwood and neighboring towns to pick your own fruit. It’s becoming increasingly popular, with crowds showing up ready to fill their buckets with cherries, peaches and more every summer. Here’s a pro tip: You can take BART almost all the way to Brentwood and bike the rest of the way. 

Aside from being a great summer activity, you’re once again cutting down on emissions from transportation. Because the consumers come to the orchards, there is no need for distribution or processing. The farms there are also family-owned small businesses, and many are organic.

Want to cut down on transportation even more? Take a walk in your neighborhood to find local fruit trees. Many cities and college campuses have digital maps that show you where to find fruit trees on campus. Take a hike and fill your pail!

Re-Up Refills

Located on College Avenue in Oakland, Re-Up Refills is a store committed to ending single-use plastics. They specialize in providing a place for customers to refill their own containers with goods ranging from oats to cleaning supplies. 

Here’s how it works: You show up with whatever containers you’d like to fill, and once you’re done, you pay by weight. 

Goods available include soap, toothpaste and mouthwash tabs, granola, flour, body care products, snacks and more. Before going into the store, you can browse products on its website to decide what kind of containers to bring with you. If you’re at a loss for containers, don’t worry: They offer reusable ones you can buy to start off your refilling journey. 

Buy what you need

Although this tip isn’t a surprise, it can help you a lot with food waste. Take some time before you go grocery shopping to figure out what you need. Meal plan the rest of your week — it’s not only fun in the moment, but can help you save time later in the week. That way, when you go to buy your food, you don’t buy too much. You don’t want all that delicious food going to waste at your hands. 

Summer is all about having fun and eating great food — but food waste can prevent others from enjoying all that tasty food. This summer, take some steps to change your meal game and keep food loss at bay! 

Contact Sophie Horvath at 

LAST UPDATED

JULY 21, 2022


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