sustainable shopping

Sustainable Shopping

Our shopping habits play a major role in the health of our environment. What we choose (or refuse!) to buy can have a lasting impact. When it comes to our food and household item purchases, it really pays to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink!

Check out our short video about sustainable shopping in grocery stores and then scroll down below for Food and Household Product shopping tips. Familiarize yourself with Ecolabels & Logos on everyday packaging and browse some More Resources to help you shop smarter for the planet!


  • Bring Your Own Bag: Reduce your plastic bag usage and bring your own bag when shopping. As of October 1, 2020, all stores in Howard County who provide customers a disposable plastic bag at the point of sale are required to charge 5 cents per bag. Be the Change, Keep the Change.  
  • Buy in Bulk: Consider buying items in bulk when appropriate to reduce the amount of packaging required.

  • take out packagingShop Smarter, Buy Recyclable: Not all grocery store packaging is recyclable. Before you shop, check our list of acceptable items for curbside recycling. See our new chart on the right for takeout-specific packaging. Not sure of a particular item? Email us a description and/or photo of the item and we’ll let you know!


  • Plan Ahead: Nearly 30% of our food is wasted. We can reduce that statistic by planning ahead. Check out our Food Waste Prevention page for tips on how to create a flexible shopping list, plan out your meals, and store food properly. 

  • Bring Your Own Container: Reusable bags aren’t the only thing you should always have on hand. Reduce the amount of disposables by bringing your own water bottle, travel mug and even utensils when dining and carrying out.

  • take out packagingKnow Before You Throw! Not all takeout containers are recyclable. Check out our guide for most types of cafeteria and carry out packaging. Own a business in the food service industry? Montgomery County