6 Different Ways You Can Save The Environment When Going Shopping
Consumption is on the rise in our society, and consumers buy more items that they might not need.
In this respect, the culture of excessive consumption has had unintended consequences by impacting the environment. Consumers, however, are making an effort to adapt their shopping habits after learning the environmental impact of their daily purchases.
At the same time, the consequences of consumers’ changing behavior are likely to affect the industry itself, as producers and retailers are forced to adapt to these new trends. So, although you will still have to buy the things you need, there are some ways you can reduce your shopping’s environmental impact.
How Does Shopping Affect The Environment?
Shopping is a big part of people’s lives, and you do it regularly. Whether it’s for food, clothes, electronics, or other items, many of you spend a lot of money every day. But, taking it in a broader context, what is it that you actually do when you go shopping? The act of shopping harms the environment, and yet it still goes on without change. Some of the more noticeable impacts include:
- Energy use: The amount of energy that it takes to produce certain things can be enormous. It doesn’t matter if it is food or electronics, a lot of energy will be used in its production.
- Transportation: Once the product has been made, it needs to be transported worldwide to its sale destination. Whether it be from air freight, shipping, or road haulage, this industry creates around 7% of the world’s total CO2 emissions.
- Waste: Plastic has become synonymous with waste and pollution, but most materials will pollute when they become waste. Unfortunately, people throw away packaging that could be recycled and clothing donated, all contributing to the problem and all from shopping.
After considering all this, how can you reduce the environmental impact of shopping?
Buy Local Where Possible
Purchasing products locally means you don’t need to consider them being shipped from a distant location. This is beneficial because, as mentioned earlier, the amount of pollution that the haulage industry causes is phenomenal. However, there are far more advantages than you might imagine:
- Fresher food: When you buy locally produced food, you will often find that the quality is better and the food tastes better. This is due to the lower distances it has needed to travel without refrigeration (another cause of emissions) and resulting from a less industrial nature of farming.
- Better for The planet: Following on from the previous point, the product you buy locally has often been farmed more sustainably. When you buy from a supermarket, the items will typically have been cultivated more industrially, meaning more fertilizers and pesticides.
- Less packaging: It shouldn’t matter if you are buying locally made clothing or food; the fact is that it probably uses less packing and less plastic.
- Supports the local economy: When you buy from your local area, you boost the economy and hopefully encourage others to follow suit.
Buy Used Products
Buying used products will save you money, limiting the number of new products that are sold at the same time, so it is a win-win situation. Buying a used item has its advantages, one of which is that it saves the environment from producing new things, thus reducing the carbon footprint. Additionally, you will be reducing the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. Additionally, the sustainable clothing designers at blonde gone rogue use an interesting method of turning leftover fabrics from the evasion industry into entirely new and fashionable apparel.
Another attractive option to go for is to buy a refurbished product. This is usually an electronic item that has been returned and sometimes destined for the trash. However, a specialist company takes it and repairs it back to like new and sells it at a reduced price. Thus, you can save money and save the planet at the same time. Some other second-hand options include browsing thrift shops for clothing.
Shop With Reusable Bags
You probably expected this one, but it is on this list for good reason because reusable bags are great! The amount of single-use plastic that fills our landfills and the realities of our environment is scary and getting scarier. Every year, more than 250 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide. It can be found everywhere, and we don’t know how much is still out there. Because of this, many people are concerned about how much plastic they are using and generating. So a durable plastic bag that you can reuse each time you go shopping is a fantastic investment in the planet.
Don’t Make Impulse Purchases
Impulse Purchases are purchases that people make without thinking about them. These are purchases from various drivers, such as emotions, time, boredom, financial situations, and shopping addiction. It happens to everyone from time to time, but you should attempt to remain disciplined as much as possible if you care about the planet. Many of the items that are purchased on impulse are often thrown away and made of cheaper, non-recyclable materials. In essence, it is something you probably don’t need, so you should not purchase it. The most efficient way to avoid impulse buying is to make a list before going out and sticking to it.
Packaging is an area where a lot of talks are followed by little action. Many companies are not making the switch to 100% recyclable or compostable packaging, even though these packaging options require less energy and waste and are more sustainable. This is why you must make an effort to see if the product you want has recyclable packaging.
Grow Your Own Veggies
Although this step isn’t strictly about shopping per se, growing your own products is a great way to reduce polluting trips to the supermarket. These can be vegetables, fruits, herbs, or whatever else you want; the sky’s the limit. Getting started is as simple as getting some seeds and growing space. There are many guides online to help you get started, and once you do, you won’t want to stop.
Saving the environment should be everyone’s first priority, and there are many little things that you can do to help out. For example, thinking about the way you shop is the first step and can also save you money.