If you're looking to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, where better to start than at the grocery store? Every time you take a trip there to replenish your home goods, you are presented with plenty of opportunities to make eco-friendly choices. Below is a handful of ideas to get you started on becoming a more environmentally-conscious grocery shopper.

Buy Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables

It's estimated that supermarkets toss out $15 billion worth of unsold fruits and vegetables each year due to "sell by" expiration dates and the fact that they overstock their stores to make their shelves look fuller. So, instead of buying your produce from supermarkets, try to shop at smaller, independent grocery stores or farmer's markets that stock organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

When you buy local, you are also significantly reducing your carbon footprint in that you are lessening the amount of energy it takes to bring your food and goods from its producer to you, the end consumer.

Use Reusable Grocery Bags

One of the simplest eco-friendly choices to make when grocery shopping is choosing not to use those icky plastic grocery bags. We already know the harmful effects plastic bags have on marine life and the environment, so there's no reason why we should be going through 100 billion shopping bags annually. This number doesn't include plastic produce bags, so be sure to steer clear of those, too. Instead, use reusable produce bags or mesh bags instead.

By bringing reusable bags with you to the grocery store, you'll help keep plastic out of our landfills and oceans.

Buy Fair Trade 

From honey and sugar to coffee and wine, Fair Trade Certified™ products that respect both the planet and people can be found down most aisles at the grocery store. In buying Fair Trade products, you are supporting the fair treatment of workers, enabling transparency, and helping to protect the environment.

So, next time you stock up on food and drink for your household, don't forget to make these eco-friendly choices.