What you consume and how much of it you consume are important determinants of how green and eco friendly your life is. But equally, how you consume, and more particularly how you shop can decide how much of an impact your consumption patterns have on the earth. Let’s look at 5 tips for eco friendly shopping that can help you make a difference:
1. Shop as per your list
Just because it looked good on the store shelf, or you felt something was a good deal doesn’t mean that you pop it into your shopping cart. When you go to the store, carry a list of things you need to buy and stick to that list. Avoid impulse purchases, you will find that you saved yourself money avoided a lot of unnecessary clutter at home as well. How often do you buy things thinking it’ll come in useful and then have it sit in your home unused perhaps for years!
2. Shop local, shop seasonal
Buying local produce means that a lot of resources that would otherwise have been used in packaging, processing and transporting or shipping are saved. Buying locally produced items also means that you get fresher food with less chance of spoilage. If apples are in season right now, buy those. Buying fresh fruit and veggies means as per their season gives you a lot of varied types of nutrition that you need at that time of year, it also means no artificial ripening, importing or transporting.
3. Look for products with minimal packaging
The minute you use an item, the packaging instantly becomes useless and creates waste. So make sure that what you buy has minimal packaging, and not layers of unnecessary, albeit attractive packing.
4. Carry your own bag
Why take those plastic bags offered by the shop that will take hundreds of years to biodegrade, when you can use your own reusable tote and make a fashion statement at the same time!
5. Cycle to the store
Walk or cycle to the store rather than using the car. Think of all the money you save on gas and parking, and the time you will save if you don’t have to look for parking! In any way you can, lower your dependence on your gas guzzler, reduce demand for fossil fuels and lower the amount of pollution. All this and do your waistline a favor as well!