Reducing your carbon footprint with sustainable buying decisions
Making sustainable purchases is increasingly important for the longevity of our planet. We should scrutinize the green credentials of everything we buy. Consumers have the power to change the way companies manufacture goods and foods and make the earth more sustainable for future generations.
What can you do to help?
It may seem that anything we do as individuals makes no difference. While it is a small step, the guiding principle is that “every little helps.” If everyone thought the same, it would be impossible to make a difference.
However, by using your power as a consumer to only buy from brands with an ethical and sustainable ethos, you can make a big difference to protecting the planet long-term. Companies that produce goods from natural materials and with the sustainable process often produce a higher quality of product, meaning you will buy longer-lasting goods.
Go to the mall or store with a list of sustainable brands you are willing to buy from, and stick firmly to that list. Considering what you are buying and thinking about the bigger picture is the only way of getting less eco-friendly brands to change their thinking.
Going into a shopping trip with this kind of mindset, you can quickly talk yourself out of plastic or leather goods you thought you wanted and find more sustainable alternatives.
What are hidden materials in goods?
Like yourself, this question before you make any purchases. Clothes, shoes, and accessories can all have hidden products that are not eco-friendly. Buying sustainable sneakers and other similar products using apps such as “Good on You” is a great way to start. The app gives a quick and easy sustainability rating on different brands, so you can check them out on the fly as you go round the shops.
Buy local – and used.
Shopping local for goods and produce is also a great way of limiting food mileage as much as possible. Local produce markets are a great example of a simple change you can make for buying fresh fruits and vegetables instead of from supermarkets.
Even if it is not a natural thing for you, you can also do things like going vegetarian or vegan for a short time to see how it feels. You will also be making a small contribution to reducing the many polluting gases used in livestock production.
Being vegan is not even just about eating – things like vegan sneakers are a great example!
Another small way you can change your habits is to buy used goods instead of new ones. That way, you are effectively recycling as opposed to fueling new production. From clothes to furniture and toys (especially plastic ones), buying second-hand is a great way to increase the lifespan of goods and, in doing so, make a small contribution to sustainability.
Less is more!
Buying less quantity of goods but better-quality means that what you buy will last longer. While cheaper items may feel like a bargain at the checkout, there is always a story behind the price. This could be that they are made with unsustainable single-use plastic and are not built to last.
Reducing the single-use, disposable culture is one of the most crucial elements of reducing our carbon footprint and making our lifestyles more sustainable.