*This is a contributed post.
The supermarket is a mainstay of British life. From the huge, monolithic constructions that need their own retail park to the small options on seemingly every corner, they are the godsend for a family. If you’re running late on nappies for your baby at 1am in the morning, they’re always right there waiting to help you out. 24 hour opening has been a gift to parents.
Of course, with every good there comes a bad – and the bad for supermarkets is, well, pretty overwhelming. While there’s no need to shun supermarkets entirely, it’s worth thinking about reducing your usage. It’s more possible than ever to escape the clutches of the big stores and shop in a totally different way, but first, you need to know why you should do it…
1) Supermarkets Are Bad For The Environment
The bigger the store is, the bigger the carbon footprint – that goes without saying. So when there’s a huge building housing everything you could ever need, its mere existence is problematic from a global point of view.
Perhaps the most pertinent problem with supermarkets and the environments, however, is wastage. Wastage is a major problem for the UK specifically; we create more waste than any other EU member country. It’s estimated that 89,000,000 tonnes of food are wasted every year by UK supermarkets. In a world where a huge number of people are starving, this is a consummation of resources that is then thrown away.
2) Air Miles
We can eat grapes in December and pumpkin in February if we so choose, despite the fact that this produce shouldn’t be available during those periods. The reason? We fly it all in from overseas. Not only does this massively impact the amount of pollution created by aircraft on an annual basis, it also means we have a tendency to neglect the home-grown, seasonal produce we should be eating.
3) You Don’t Decide What You Buy
There is a trend for artisanal food and drink at the moment, from cheese right through to craft beer – the more unique it is, the more we want it. When you shop from a single supermarket, you’re not actually choosing what you buy, but what the buyers think you want. If you want to expand your culinary wings, then look to source items individually from suppliers you really love. It’s simple enough to do, too; from locally-sourced veg boxes delivered to your door to being able to buy craft beer online – discovering items for yourself can be just as convenient as hauling around a supermarket!
4) Supermarkets Make You Overspend
If you head to do your grocery shop, it’s impossible to miss the offers presented to you. ‘Buy one get one free’, ‘two for the price of three’ – they spring forth from the shelves or the website, and it’s hard to resist. Everyone loves a bargain!
The end result of this, however, tends to be that you overspend on items you don’t need and ultimately won’t use. If you buy products from a variety of different suppliers, you’re far more likely to just buy what you need!
So, do you think you could ever give up the supermarket – or at least not rely on them quite as much?