The world is facing an environmental crisis. Climate change, deforestation, and the extinction of plant and animal species are just a few of the pressing issues we are currently dealing with. And it’s only going to get worse unless we take drastic action.
One way to help mitigate the effects of climate change is to be more environmentally friendly when shopping. That means making an effort to buy products that are eco-friendly, fair trade, and/or made from sustainable materials.
It can be difficult to know which products are actually good for the environment. With all of the greenwashing that goes on, it’s hard to tell what’s truly eco-friendly and what’s not. But if we all make an effort to be more mindful about the products we buy, we can help make a difference.
Here are a few tips for shopping in an eco-friendly way:
Do your research
Before you buy anything, do a quick Google search to see if it’s eco-friendly. If you’re unsure about a product, err on the side of caution and don’t buy it. For example, if you’re looking for a new piece of furniture, look for something made from sustainable materials like bamboo or reclaimed wood. Similarly, if you’re looking for new clothes, try to find brands that use organic cotton or other sustainable materials. When we talk about fast fashion impact on environment, for starters, it might be difficult to imagine that our clothing choices could have much of an effect. Plus, it can be tough to find affordable eco-friendly clothing.
But the truth is, the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. So, by making an effort to buy eco-friendly clothes, we can help reduce our impact on the environment. If splurging on eco-friendly clothes isn’t an option for you, give thrifting a try.
Whenever possible, try to shop at local businesses instead of big box stores. Local businesses often have a smaller environmental footprint because they don’t have to ship their products as far. Plus, they often use sustainable practices and sell eco-friendly products.
Not only that, but shopping locally also supports the local economy and helps create jobs. So, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Keep in mind, however, that just because a business is local doesn’t necessarily mean it’s eco-friendly. So, again, be sure to do your research before making any purchases.
In addition, food miles are something we should keep in mind. The farther our food has to travel, the more emissions are produced. So, try to buy local produce whenever possible. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find locally grown food.
Buy in bulk
Whenever possible, try to buy in bulk instead of individual items. This can help reduce packaging waste and save you money in the long run. Bonus points if you can find a bulk store that uses sustainable practices, like refillable containers.
For example, instead of buying a new bottle of dish soap every time you run out, try finding a bulk store that sells dish soap in refillable containers. You can bring your own container and fill it up as needed. This way, you’re not generating any new plastic waste, and you’re saving money in the process.
Additionally, many bulk stores now offer online ordering and delivery. So, you can shop from the comfort of your own home and have your items delivered to your doorstep.
Bring your own bags
This one is pretty simple: whenever possible, bring your own bags when shopping. This includes reusable shopping bags, produce bags, and even storage containers.
For example, if you’re going to the store to buy some fruit, bring along a reusable produce bag. Or, if you’re buying bulk items, bring along a reusable storage container. This way, you won’t have to use any disposable packaging.
Plus, many stores now offer discounts for customers who bring their own bags. So, it’s a win-win for you and the environment.
Avoid disposable items
Disposable items are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to environmental pollution. So, whenever possible, try to avoid them. This includes things like single-use coffee cups, straws, and plastic wrap.
If you’re looking for a more sustainable alternative to single-use coffee cups, try investing in a reusable one. There are plenty of eco-friendly options on the market, and many of them can be used over and over again. Similarly, if you’re looking for a reusable straw, there are plenty of metal and glass options available.
As for plastic wrap, try using beeswax wraps instead. They’re made with 100% natural ingredients and can be used over and over again. Plus, they’re better for the environment than disposable plastic wrap.
Repair and reuse
Whenever possible, try to repair and reuse items instead of buying new ones. This includes clothes, shoes, and even electronics.
For example, if your jeans rip, don’t automatically throw them out. See if you can sew them up and wear them again. Similarly, if your phone breaks, see if you can get it repaired instead of buying a new one.
Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also better for your wallet. So, it’s a win-win all around.
Rent instead of buy
Whenever possible, try to rent things instead of buying them. This includes things like tools, party supplies, and even clothes.
For example, if you need a drill for a one-time project, see if you can rent one from a local hardware store. Or, if you’re throwing a party, see if you can rent plates and silverware instead of buying them.
This way, you won’t have to worry about storing things that you only need once in a while. Plus, it’s better for the environment since fewer resources are being used.
When it comes to being more environmentally friendly while shopping, every little bit counts. So, try to incorporate as many of these tips into your daily routine as possible. Not only will you be helping the planet, but you’ll also be saving money in the process. Keep in mind that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing your best.