An easy way to embrace sustainable living is to incorporate a focus on earth-friendliness into your shopping habits. Running errands, getting groceries and making purchases – big and small – can be the perfect time to put our money where it matters and support companies that are good environmental stewards.
Want to shop more sustainably? Consider establishing the following habits.
5 Ways to Shop More Sustainably
Buy second-hand whenever you can
Vintage is always “in”, and giving new life to something that might otherwise wind up in a landfill is a great way to help the planet. People sell everything from home decor and furniture to books and clothes on Craigslist or buy/sell groups on Facebook. Browse around online and see what you can find.
Prefer making your purchases in-person? Visit a nearby thrift store or garage sale to scope out your options. You’ll spend far less than you would on something new and, in many cases, you’ll end up with a far more interesting purchase than the mass-produced stuff you find in stores everywhere.
The things you buy might have a bigger impact on the planet than you realize. Consider anything you own – your favorite pair of shoes, your dining room table, or your toothbrush. Now, think about how far that thing had to travel to reach you. Consider how much energy went into transporting your stuff from the factory to the warehouse to the store to your front door.
Shopping locally allows you to eliminate a lot of that waste and reduce your carbon footprint. While you might not be able to buy everything in your backyard, try to shop locally whenever you can to cut down on some of the excess waste generated during the transportation of goods. You can likely find food, art, and furniture made nearby with locally-sourced ingredients or components. And you’ll be supporting local business and the economy in the process!
Choose brands known to be eco-friendly
It can be difficult to look into the company ethics of everything you buy, but it’s important to do your research when you can to ensure you’re supporting businesses that are better for the planet – especially when making big purchases, like cars or appliances. A quick Google search for “(company name) sustainability” or “(company name) environmental footprint” can be a great launching point for a little investigation into a business’ sustainability efforts. Spend some time looking around and see if you like what you find. Look for recognized certifications that show a commitment to sustainable production or earth-friendly practices, like Energy Star and Fair Trade Certified.
Buy less stuff
Simply spending less and buying fewer things can be a great way to support sustainability. Many of us already own far more than we actually need. Living with less may not sound enticing at first, but it can come with a host of benefits, including reduced anxiety and better focus. When you do need to make a purchase, spend the money and make an investment in a quality piece when you can. Buying something well-made may cost more upfront, but it’ll likely last longer, which means you won’t have to replace it as often.
Use reusable shopping bags
This is one of the simplest changes you can make to your shopping routine to help our environment. Instead of bagging your groceries and other purchases in plastic bags, bring your own canvas or cloth bags. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re also far more durable, easier to carry, and can often hold far more stuff than the bags provided by the store.
Have you taken any steps to shop more sustainably? What changes have you made to your routine? Leave a comment and let us know what you’ve done to make a difference.
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