It is no secret that all our actions impact the planet in one way or another. While not everyone is ready to embrace a completely green lifestyle, you can start small and still make a difference.
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There are many ways to “go green” at home or work, but shopping is often overlooked. With the following shopping tips you can not only save a little money, but also do your bit for the environment and, in some instances, even improve the quality of your life.
1. Walk Instead Of Drive
It might sound like a hassle, but leaving your car at home when you go shopping has many benefits. Not only do you save money on gas, but it is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint in the long run.
In addition, it enables you to combine some exercise with your chores, so you will end up feeling healthier as well. If walking is not feasible consider biking or opting for public transport instead of using your own vehicle.
2. Purchase Durable Products
Disposable items are obviously very convenient, but not so great for the environment. Buying durable products instead can set you back a little more, but often works out cheaper long-term and is definitely the greener option.
For example, buying rechargeable batteries allows you to re-use them instead of having to continually buy new ones. The same goes for other disposable items, such as plastic cutlery. Buying a durable container to pack lunches instead of disposable wraps or bags can really make a big difference and allow you to cut down on the amount of shopping trips you need each month.
3. More Is Often Less
It sounds like a contradiction, but buying more is often the greenest option. Individually packaged items can be more convenient, but usually come with a lot of packaging, which is harmful to the environment.
Since you are not paying for all the excess packaging, you’ll find that you are getting better value for money as well. In fact, an average saving of 89% is possible by opting for bulk foods versus packaged, according to studies.
Best of all, you are not contributing to all the useless excess packaging that gets dumped into landfills on a regular basis.
4. Compile A Weekly Menu
The pace of modern life is hectic and without careful planning it is easy to always opt for the convenient options. When it comes to cooking, if you don’t have a weekly menu planned out it is very tempting to simply order unhealthy fast-food.
It doesn’t matter how many people you are cooking for, by sticking to a weekly menu you know exactly what you need to buy and can plan shopping trips accordingly.
5. Cut Back On Paper
Having your shopping list ready when buying groceries can be a real time saver, but there’s no reason why it should be written on paper. The same goes for coupons as well. Since all of us carry our smartphones with us wherever we go it is very easy to make the switch to apps instead.
There are plenty of apps available for both Android and iOS which allow you to go digital instead of wasting paper.
6. Opt For Greener Grocery Bags
One of the easiest ways to go green with your shopping is to ditch the plastic shopping bags and bring your own reusable bags instead. Plastic bags take a very long time to degrade, and with more than a trillion bags used worldwide every year, it is a growing problem.
A reusable bag for grocery shopping is a much greener option and can also save money in areas where plastic bags come with a charge.
7. Shop For Local Products
A great way to go green and support the community is to shop for local products. Doing so requires less travelling and less shipping which means less pollution. More often than not you’ll also experience better customer service as local owners are more invested in their community. Shopping local also makes it easier to purchase in-season products that are fresher and taste better.
8. Shop Smart
Above all it is important to shop smart and stick to the necessities instead of getting carried away. Purchasing organic or free-range products in an effort to shop greener is a noble goal, but it can also be a marketing ploy thanks to the lack of regulation.
Do a bit of research to see if the products are really as green as they are advertised to be before spending your hard-earned money. This will allow you to avoid products that use “greenwashing” in order to sell more.