What do you think of when you picture sustainability? You might picture yourself riding a bike to work instead of driving your car or swapping out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one. Nowadays, you can find sustainable solutions for just about every part of your daily life.
According to Nielsen, "Sales of products with sustainable attributes make up 22% of the total [grocery] store, with organic, sustainable and clean attributes driving the majority of the sustainable category’s growth." Nielsen also reports, that "by 2021, we expect sustainable goods will make up 25% of store sales."
Eco-friendly shopping is now easier than ever. You can even find sustainable solutions to your chocolate cravings, wine nights, and savory snacking.
Here are a few sustainable shopping list must-haves to make you feel not so guilty about your favorite guilty pleasures.
Sustainable Solutions to Your Guilty Pleasures
You get through shopping and you've loaded up your cart with every item on your grocery list. Then, your cart slowly creeps up to the cash register and you see it... temptation in the form of delicious chocolates and cookies. You give in because, why not? You deserve it!
Rewarding yourself can feel even better when you choose a treat that makes a positive impact on the environment.
According to Forbes, "Flexible packaging, rigid plastics, metal, glass, paper-based containers, liquid cartons, and other packaging added up to a staggering 3.4 trillion units of global retail packaging in 2016. The entire food and beverage sphere accounted for 92 percent of retail packaging volume in the very same year."
Now, you can find sustainable solutions to wasteful candy packaging with companies like Alter Eco and if you're in the mood for wine, there's an eco-friendly alternative for that, too.
Alter Eco makes chocolate bars, clusters, and truffles. By sourcing their cocoa from places like Peru, Ecuador, and India, they're helping the global economy and have earned their Fair Trade Certification.
Plus, they're one of the first candy makers to create sustainable packaging for their chocolate treats.
According to Alter Eco, "It took several years, but we launched the world’s first compostable, non-GMO, non-toxic candy wrappers, and invented the world’s first compostable stand-up pouch made from renewable, plant-based, non-GMO materials. And we’re part of a coalition to encourage the rest of the industry to follow suit."
With less plastic wrapper waste, Alter Eco will make you feel better about your chocolate indulgence.
ReGrained what they call "SuperGrain+" power bars. Their SuperGrain+ is a grain that is produced through the beer brewing process. It's packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients and ReGrained captures it all in a single bar.
Not only are their snacks good for you, but also their product packaging is good for the environment. According to ReGrained, their product wrapper "is comprised of materials that are certified home-compostable and designed to meet the standards for home compostability."
ReGrained bars are a great way to curb your hunger and allow you to snack sustainably without the plastic junk that normally surrounds granola bars.
When it comes to wine, you've got a zillion options to choose from. Red or white, dry or sweet, domestic or international – your wine choice can be as unique as you are. Now, you can choose sustainable wine for your cozy nights-in and your nights out with friends.
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance certified Ferrari-Carano's 24 vineyards as Certified California Sustainable Vineyards in 2015. They were certified because of their "numerous efforts to preserve the land for future generations while producing memorable, sustainable wine of outstanding quality. The certification acknowledges Ferrari-Carano for being conscientious of the environment, surroundings, neighbors and their labor force."
You can feel better about pouring another glass when you're supporting a company that makes sustainability a priority.
Indulge Without the Guilt
Companies like Alter Eco, ReGrained, and Ferrari-Carano are making products to help you indulge with less guilt about their environmental impact.
According to Nielsen, "48% of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment. And these consumers are putting their dollars where their values are, spending $128.5 billion on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products this year."
If you're going to satisfy your cravings, why not make it a sustainable indulgence?
What are your guilty pleasures? Bonus points if you've found a sustainable alternative. Share in the comments so others can enjoy some eco-friendly deliciousness!