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We’re all looking for ways to decrease our carbon impact, and rethinking your shopping habits is a great place to start. Here are a few tips to get you started!
1. Do your research
Before you purchase, take some time to research what you’re looking for and find out if sustainable alternatives are available. Knowing which brands and retailers are committed to sustainable and ethical practices might take some time, but it’s well worth the effort. Good On You is an organization that rates fashion brands on their sustainability, but you might also consider researching your favorite brands directly to find out if they meet your standards.
2. Shop secondhand
Purchasing secondhand or upcycled items helps reduce environmental impact by reducing the quantities of goods shipped. Many major retailers now offer buyback or trade-in programs and secondhand marketplaces to extend product life for clothing, electronics, and more.
3. Buy quality over quantity
When shopping for new products, avoid fast fashion and low-quality goods. Items made from quality materials will last much longer and likely look and perform better. Buying one well-made item that will last 20 years is far better than repurchasing the same things every few months.
4. Commit to keeping items longer
You might be the kind of person who simply must have the latest tech, but is it necessary? Today’s phones and computers tend to last a whole lot longer than they have in the past, so there’s no need to switch out every two years—despite what your mobile provider might tell you.
5. Shop local
Whenever possible, shop at local businesses instead of big box stores. Local businesses typically have a smaller carbon footprint than large corporations, and they also support the local economy.
6. Repair and maintain
Choose wisely when you purchase new clothes, shoes, furniture, cars, etc. Purchase things that are built to last. Take care of your things, and if they need some repair or TLC, invest in making that happen. Keeping your stuff well-maintained and in good condition helps them last longer and go further.
7. Know your fabrics
Knowing which fabrics are more sustainable may help you make smarter clothing purchases. Natural fibers like cotton, hemp, linen, bamboo, and wool are generally more sustainable than synthetic fibers. Natural fibers are biodegradable and require less energy and water to produce than synthetic fibers. Additionally, natural fibers tend to be more durable than synthetic fibers, meaning they will last longer before needing to be replaced.
8. Know your plastics
Many bioplastics look almost identical to conventional plastic, so learning the difference is vital. Learn what the plastic numbers mean so you can choose wisely at the store. Avoid unrecyclable plastics, and ensure bioplastics are disposed of properly in the compost.
9. Avoid single-use items
Single-use items, such as straws, coffee cups, and water bottles, are a huge source of waste. While single-use plastics are being phased out, many restaurants and merchants are switching to more sustainable, eco-friendly materials, such as compostable bioplastics. Learn to recognize these products to make smarter, more sustainable decisions at the register.
With these sustainable shopping tips in hand, there’s no stopping you! Greenprint helps you shop sustainably. Check out our innovative product line today.