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Do Your Part: Top 5 smarter grocery store swaps to save

Do Your Part is about making everyday choices that are better for you, your family, and the environment. One way you can make a difference today is by making a few simple swaps when you go to the grocery store. The next time you head out to your local supermarket, keep these top 5 green choices in mind:

1) Support local farmers

The first place most of us stop is the produce section. Start your trip selecting those fruits and veggies that are in season and locally grown. Local produce has traveled far fewer miles to reach your table so it’s always fresher. When you buy local produce you are also supporting your local farmer and the local economy.

2) Buy green cleaners

Going green when it comes to cleaning your home is one of the most important decisions we can make. Chemical based cleaners can often pollute the air inside our homes by releasing volatile organic compounds. A better choice is to use white vinegar to disinfect and baking soda to scrub. You can also seek out store bought cleaners that are phosphate-free, fragrance-free and biodegradable.

3) Choose beverages in aluminum cans

Try to buy soda, beer, or juice in aluminum cans when you have the option. Aluminum is among the most valuable recycled materials and it’s easily turned into another aluminum can or container in as little as 90 days. Then make sure to recycle the can since nearly all curbside recycling programs accept aluminum.

4) Choose recycled products

Paper products made from recycled material use 40 percent less energy and water being manufactured which in turns creates far less air, land, and water pollution. Paper towels and napkins cannot be recycled due to food residue but at least we can buy ones made from recycled content.

5) Use those reusable bags

With many grocery store chains offering cash back for using reusable bags, there is more incentive than ever to use them. But, don’t forget about all those produce bags. You can reuse ones you already have or you could go without. Not every type of produce needs a bag. Use them only as needed.

(Terri Bennett is a TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part,” a practical guide for everyday green living available at DoYourPart.com. Send questions to terridoyourpart.com)

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