With the advent of December, many festivities, celebrations and seasonal parties are planned globally. These events require feverish shopping leading to usage and wastage of more resources. In addition, December is also famous for the shopping mania that grips people from all walks of life. ‘Shopping’ is certainly one of the most famous ‘indoor sport’ being practiced equally by people of developed and developing countries depending on their life style and budget and is mainly being done by the female gender.
‘Going green’ is a way forward for all of us as it is a lifestyle change including improving our shopping and purchasing habits so that the additional environmental burden can be reduced. The market forces, industries, manufacturers are supported by extensive media and marketing campaigns which lure us to buy more and unnecessary commodities.
The responsibility of environmental stewardship lies on us to control and behave and move to ‘green shopping’ altering our pampered purchasing habits. Start by auditing your lifestyles and shopping list and see where improvement can be achieved to reduce pollution.
Being a green consumer we need to conserve resources, save energy, and prevent waste by buying products that are energy efficient, are used or reusable, made with recycled content or are recyclable and have no or less packaging.
Green shopping involves learning how to buy smartly and keeping environmental considerations in mind. Here are some useful eco-friendly shopping tips:
- Check if the item is ‘really’ or ‘urgently’ required. May be you do not have an immediate use or can postpone it to any later date.
- Check what quantity and content of the item is required and for what duration?
- What are the alternatives to the item in terms of cost, size, number etc?
- Buy durable products instead of disposable items. Buy things which last longer and can be reused like rechargeable batteries and avoiding plastic cutlery and plates.
- Avoid excess packaging. Look for products that have less packaging or buy in bulk meaning less garbage generation, disposal and transportation.
- Share items with friends. Another way to save resources and energy is to swap and exchange with friends and family instead of buying brand-new products. This includes sharing video games, CDs, DVDs etc. instead of individuals owning them.
- Buy energy-efficient appliances and electronic items and promote energy-efficient products.
- Buying useful presents and gifts aiming at its use and not cost.
- Select items made with recycled-content materials.
- When selecting between two similar products, go for the one you can re-use or re-fill later, or the one that hasn’t wasted resources on a wrapper you’ll throw away as soon as you get home.
- Buy sustainable products which have the ability to be produced (over and over again) without doing much harm to the environment.
- Buy locally made or grown food. Local foods are fresher and keep local farmers in business, while avoiding the pollution caused by transporting products around the country or region.
Let us inspire ourselves to live a greener more environmentally friendly, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Become a Green Shopper. Explore, Enjoy and Make A Difference!
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I liked your tips to buy recycled-content items and share or swap things you’ve bought with friends to live more eco-friendly. My friend from yoga class and I are wanting to live more “green” and need some tips to do so. It’d be fun if we could find biodegradable plastic t-shirt bags for sale to use so we don’t have to use plastic bags every time we shop.
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