It used to be that consumers had little options when it came to better respecting (and protecting!) the planet when they made decisions about what they buy and where they shop.
Today, this most definitely isn’t the case.
These days, there’s a new branch of the sustainable-living solution movement that many people are finding easy to use during their day-to-day lives.
It’s called green shopping, and, no, it doesn’t mean buying certain types of healthy vegetables at the grocer.
Green shopping is a new way to think about the environmental impact of the products we buy, and make better decisions as consumers to help reduce our environmental footprint.
Green shopping has a few key ideas behind it that are easy to understand and use – the three “R’s” of the environment.
When shopping, buy products that can be recycled or, at the very least, are made from recycled content.
Be smart about what you buy by buying less. Purchase products that are made with less natural resources (think about fuel consumption in produce that’s shipped in from overseas!), and only buy the amounts you need.
This one can be a bit tricky to follow, but works in many cases. When shopping, pay attention to the packaging the product comes in. Ask yourself – is this packaging something that I could easily reuse or repurpose (such as a plastic container being repurposed to store kitchen items)? Basically, think about the next phase in the product’s life – does it go to the dump or can it be reused?
When shopping green, some products are simply better than others. But how do you tell them apart? Look for the following characteristics.
The less packaging the better
When viewing product packaging, remember that unless you can reuse it or recycle it, it’s going to the dump. So try to buy things sold in multi-packs or contain less packaging than other items.
Is the item durable?
This one is easy to think of when you picture buying a reuseable water bottle. Is the actual plastic bottle tough enough to be reused for a long time, or will it break? Opt for products that will last longer.
Made from recycled materials
Many products now come in packaging made entirely or mostly from recycled materials such as plastic and paper.
Ready to recycle
And, of course, buy products whose packaging can be readily recycled in your local recycling program. Otherwise, it’s going right to the trash dump!