Sustainable shopping means shopping in a way that has less of a negative impact on the environment, encouraging you to be mindful about the way you shop and buy items made of good materials that can last long.
With increasing pressure on all of us to protect the planet’s scarce natural resources, there has never been a better time to adopt green and sustainable shopping habits. Although some people worry that going green means spending more, in many cases, you could even save money. On top of this, shopping sustainably can enrich your life and it ensures you’re doing your bit for the environment. Here are some easy tips to shop sustainably.
Roughly 40 percent of all plastic is used for packaging, resulting in millions of tons of plastic waste around the world. Much of this waste ends up in the ocean and other waterways, posing a danger to underwater life and ecosystems. If packaging waste doesn’t end up in the ocean, it often ends up in landfills. It takes approximately 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade and when plastic does eventually start to break down, it pollutes the Earth and the ocean with microplastics.
Now, however, many brands are saying no to plastic packaging. Look for companies that use recycled and recyclable materials, not just in their products but also in their boxes and bottles. There are also brands out there that are zero-waste and use no packaging at all.
Find investment pieces that last longer
You can still be sustainable when buying new items by doing some research on the items you buy and the brands that produce them. Ask questions like, “What material is this item made of?” “What is the impact of its production?” And, “Can it be recycled, reused, or donated?”
Instead of buying multiple cheaper variations of the same item, try to invest in pieces that have higher quality and that last longer, even if they’re just for your basic wardrobe.
A good way to put this into perspective is to think of how many times you’ll wear an item before buying – through the 30Wear challenge. The 30Wear challenge suggests that if you can’t see yourself wearing the item 30 times, then it should not be in your wardrobe.
Support brands that are working for a change
Sustainable shopping involves supporting sustainable brands. We do this by “voting” with our dollars or putting our money into what’s produced by good companies. You can recognize the brand by checking if they contribute positively to the community and how they integrate themselves into the circular economy.
However, if you see a lot of positive news and word-of-mouth about a brand or a business, and they are working toward bettering themselves and their impact, don’t hesitate to immediately add them to your list of preferred brands, even if they don’t quite check off all the sustainability boxes. Instead, use it as an opportunity to have a productive conversation with employees and owners about how they can further attract more people to their business, reduce waste, or get involved with the community.