With so much happening to the environment, it’s in your best interest to minimize your own negative impact on the planet.
When it comes to the way you shop, there are many ways you can help the environment and minimize your carbon footprint. Today we look at the most effective Eco-friendly shopping tips.
1. Buy Local Products
Whenever it’s possible, buy products from local merchants.
When you buy local, you are buying products that were not shipped in from some remote part of the world.
When shipping products, companies emit a lot of potentially damaging gases into the air and waste natural resources.
If you buy products that were made or harvested locally, you can eliminate this issue.
2. Buy Food in Season
Another way to do your part is to buy food when it is in season.
If you’re spending money to buy products that are out of season and grown in other parts of the world, you are encouraging products to be shipped over long distances.
For example, instead of buying strawberries in the winter, buy something else and wait until strawberries are in season to buy them.
3. Buy Used Products
When it comes to buying products, do your best to buy used instead of new.
There are many things that you can buy or rent through sites like Craigslist or Fat Lama that are practically as good as new.
When you buy used, you not only save yourself some money, but you are cutting down on the number of new products that are sold.
4. Use Reusable Shopping Bags
In many cases, you can use reusable shopping bags when you go to the store. This is not just an Eco-friendly tip, but actually also saves you money in the long run.
Buy some heavy-duty shopping bags that you can take with you again and again to the market. This way, you won’t have to use paper or plastic shopping bags over and over again.
5. Recycled Packaging
Many products sold today have recycled packaging. Whenever possible, try to buy products that are in recycled packaging.
When you don’t, you’re encouraging wasteful packaging procedures by manufacturers.
6. Use Containers for Storage
When you do have to buy a product in a big container, consider reusing that container for storage purposes. For instance, you can use boxes for storage, or when moving.
When you can reuse some of the containers that you buy, it will reduce the impact of the extra packaging.
7. Avoid Pre-Washed Items
Many people like the convenience of pre-washed items like lettuce or salad mixes.
While these items can be fairly convenient, they also cost a little bit more and can hurt the environment.
Instead of buying produce that is packaged in plastic, just buy regular produce and wash it at home.
8. Avoid Impulse Buys
To shop in an Eco-friendly way, avoid impulse buys. Many people buy things that they don’t need and then they end up in a landfill somewhere. Go through your closets and identify anything you haven’t used in a while. Or, things that no longer spark joy.
Now, get rid of them by selling, exchanging for something you want, or giving them up for recycling. You can also donate to a local charity or thrift-shop.
9. Shop Less Frequently
Reducing the number of trips you take to the grocery store is one of the most effective Eco-friendly shopping tips. If you can cut down the number of times that you go to the store, you can save fuel and make a big difference for the environment.
Many people end up driving to the store for a carton of milk. Buy more at a time and you’ll spend less on gas. The only way to do that is to make a list before you go shopping.
Also, don’t shop when you’re hungry. You tend to buy more things, especially food to compensate mentally for the hunger. Write a shopping list, stick to the list.
10. Cloth Diapers
If you have kids, consider buying cloth diapers instead of plastic diapers. Plastic diapers are very expensive and they also take a long time to biodegrade.
In some places they end up in rivers and are carried all the way to the ocean, further polluting the waterways, and oceans.
You can save money by using cloth diapers regularly.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.