Ways to Be a More Sustainable Shopper

With increasing pressure on us, as consumers, to protect and preserve our planet’s depleting natural resources, there’s never been a better time to form greener and more eco-friendly shopping habits. And even though many people assume shopping more consciously means spending more money as well, more often than not, you can even save up, while ensuring you’re making a positive impact on the environment. Here a few simple ways you can become a more sustainable shopper:

Choose local produce and ingredients

Make it a point to buy produce that has been sourced, harvested or produced locally as often as you can, as this will ensure your food hasn’t traveled a long distance to reach you, ultimately leaving behind a significant carbon footprint. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to shop at farmer’s markets, farms and smaller shops in your area that only carry local products, instead of visiting large supermarket chains. As a general rule, if you commit to only buying seasonal produce, chances are higher that those items have been sourced and produced locally.

Buy eco-friendly cosmetics and cleaning products

When it comes to sustainable living, the bathroom is one area where people tend to struggle the most. What you can do to instantly reduce waste and be more eco-friendly is to replace single-use cotton pads with washable ones, choose a bar shampoo and conditioner, instead of their plastic alternatives, and opt for bamboo toothbrushes and toothpaste tablets. As far as cleaning products are concerned, make sure to buy more natural products, without any harsh chemicals that could potentially harm the environment, and always opt for items packaged in glass or metal, for easy reusing and recycling.

Opt for quality clothes and accessories

Clothing is another difficult area for a lot of people, as they tend to believe only high-end products are sustainable. However, even shopping at local vintage and second-hand shops, and using hand-me-down clothes if you have children are all eco-friendly options anyone can turn into a habit. When buying new items, it’s always better to go for quality over quantity, and choose reputable brands, as well as more natural and long-lasting materials. For instance, you can opt for a high-quality card holder wallet made of leather, and ensure that such a handy accessory you use every day will last you a lifetime.

Look for certifications ensuring sustainability

No matter what type of products you’re shopping for, choosing more natural and organic items that have been sourced and made sustainably is always the best option, both for the planet and for the workers involved in the production process. To ensure you’re making the best possible decision, pay attention to certifications stated on the packaging, such as Organic Cotton for clothing, Fair Trade for food and other goods, and even FSC for anything from toilet paper to wooden furniture.

Make an effort to reduce plastic waste

Plastic represents one of the biggest environmental issues, which is why it pays to avoid buying anything made of plastic, especially single-use, as well as any other products excessively packaged in plastic or other materials that can’t be recycled.  For instance, you can buy fresh, unpackaged fruit and vegetables, fill your own, reusable jars with dry goods, instead of plastic bags, and opt for package-free goods whenever possible. When you go shopping, always bring your own (preferably fabric) tote with you, to avoid unnecessary plastic bag waste.
As you can see, becoming a more sustainable shopper doesn’t have to be an overly difficult and demanding task. As long as you make it a point to change your habits, and make smarter, more environmentally friendly choices, you can easily help save the planet with little effort.

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