When pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle you may be wondering how to do everything you’ve been doing more sustainably. From cooking to fashion to transportation and everything in between. But have you ever thought of ways to shop more sustainably? And I don’t just mean bringing your reusable bags and shopping in bulk although those are a great start.
What about our spending habits? What about the actual products we buy? The store we support? These are all little things that can make a difference in our sustainable shopping habits.
Ways to shop more sustainably:
1. Shopping less
I know it may seem counterintuitive to shop less in order to shop sustainably but bear with me. Everything you buy, whether it’s sustainably made or not, has a carbon footprint. It took effort and resources to make and probably travelled a distance to get to the store shelves or to you.
When we shop less we’re creating less of a demand for items and therefore lowering our carbon footprint. This isn’t to say that you can’t shop or you can’t support sustainable brands. But shopping less does make a difference. Try shopping on a ned-to-have basis and only treat yourself every once in a while.
2. Buy better
I’ll be honest, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. We bought cheap, poorly made items quite frequently out of necessity. And this is a horrible cycle I acknowledge a lot of people are in. But when you are able to do so, buying better is one of the best ways to shop more sustainably.
Here’s what I mean: Save up for the things you want and buy better quality. Buying things that are made better and with better, more natural materials ensure that the product lasts longer and doesn’t go to the landfill. The problem with buying cheaper options is that they’ll break more quickly and end up in a landfill causing you to buy more. This is why I’m saying this isn’t the best option for everyone. Always buy the best quality that you can afford.
3. Shop local
It’s no secret that things not locally made come with a hefty carbon footprint. some times they travel from the other side of the world and take a plane, train, boat and car to get here. Shopping locally can help to reduce that carbon footprint because the times were made and the food was grown so close to you.
4. Shop small
Shopping from small businesses is also another way to shop more sustainably. Maybe it’s local, maybe it’s not. But either way, you’re putting your money where it matters and not into a billionaire’s pocket. Because let’s face it, they could be saving the world but they’re kinda destroying it.
5. Shop second hand
I’m always an advocate for shopping second-hand. After all, thrifting is what lead me to the life of sustainability. But all of these items have already been made. And so so many things have already been made and exist on this earth. Chances are the thing you need or want already exists and doesn’t have to be made brand new and therefore using more resources and materials.
Always try to shop second-hand first when you need something. I know walking into a thrift store to find something may be tough but there are lots of places online where you can shop second-hand and more specifically for the thing you want.
I hope these 5 ways to shop more sustainably helped inspire you! It doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s all about making better, conscious decisions about where and how we spend our money. I promise these small actions really add up and can make a huge difference.
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