With so much happening to the environment, it is important that we minimize our negative impacts on the planet. And yes, that includes shopping.
When it comes to shopping, there are many ways to be eco-friendly and cut down on your carbon footprint. So if you are wondering how you can shop more environmentally friendly, follow these 10 tips and suggestions. You’ll feel much better about your impact on the planet and our green future.
Avoid impulse buys
Most stores will put extra items at the front of the store, next to the registers and at the ends of aisles in an effort to make an extra sale. Avoid these impulse buys whenever you go shopping. Most things you buy that you do not need eventually end up in a landfill.
Buy less, give more
You can make a positive impact on the environment and save fuel and money by cutting back on the number of times you go to the store or go out shopping. And when you start to realize you haven’t worn an item of clothing for a long time, you’ve grown out of it or you simply aren’t in love with it anymore, consider donating it instead of throwing it away. This is a more sustainable way of disposing of your unwanted clothing item.
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, just after the oil industry. And the environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows. One way to combat this is by shopping secondhand. This saves you money, prevents excess clothing from being produced and you are not harming the environment. Plus, you won’t have to worry about other people owning the same unique pieces as you do.
Avoid plastic and synthetic materials
Plastic and synthetic materials have serious environmental implications. Sourcing materials to make plastic products is wasteful and using plastic can lead to health complications. Fabric like polyester is a cheaper alternative to natural fibers. But this plastic-like fabric is produced by excessive amounts of coal, oil and water. So it is best to avoid these materials when making purchases.
Whenever you possibly can, buy products from local stores and sellers. Companies release a lot of potentially toxic pollution into the air and waste natural resources when shipping products. So finding items locally made not only reduces the environmental impact of shipping and delivery, it supports local businesses and the economy as well.
Avoid pre-washed produce
Many types of fresh produce like salad mix or berries come pre-washed for convenience. Although this can be pretty convenient, it also costs extra and can be harmful to the environment. Instead, buy regular produce and wash it at home.
Buy in bulk
It may surprise you to learn that wholesale stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club can actually help protect the environment. Buying things in bulk that you use on a daily basis like toilet paper, hair care products, laundry detergent and pantry staples eliminates a lot of excessive packaging. You might not think you need that much ketchup, but you’ll be saving money and cutting down on waste.
Reuse containers and bags
Repurposing and reusing the items you bring home, like containers and bags, are a great way to reduce the impact of extra packaging materials and plastic. Carry your own shopping bag to avoid using plastic or paper bags. Reuse your containers for storage purposes or for holding your takeout when you order to-go.
Use a reusable water bottle
Did you know that a staggering 91% of plastic goes unrecycled and more than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the world’s oceans each year? By switching to a reusable water bottle, you can help curb plastic pollution and save a lot of money. And unlike plastic water bottles, stainless steel water bottles are durable and keep your beverages at the right temperature for hours.
Clean with natural products
It used to be impossible to find detergents that were natural but also strong enough to take out tough stains. These days, it really is possible for a natural cleaner to be able to go head-to-head with strong industrial chemicals. Products free of dyes, bleach and VOCs are not only better for the environment, but they’ll be safer for everyone in your home than that other stuff you used to buy.