Sustainable shopping tips

By Delaney Rombough

Posted on December 13, 2021

Choosing sustainable options and brands when shopping benefits you, the environment, and the local economy. Here are some tips to help you shop sustainably.

Shop local

Shopping local means purchasing products that were made locally. Locally made products are more environmentally friendly because they haven’t travelled long distances by air or sea. Less travel means less carbon dioxide emissions. This can include everything from fresh produce to baked goods to stationery stores. For example, going to the local farmer’s market is a great way to get fresh, delicious, in-season produce that has been locally grown.
flower stand
Purchasing goods from locally owned and operated businesses also directly contributes to the economy of your community. For example, instead of getting your daily coffee at Starbucks, an American multinational corporation, visit a café that’s only in your area.

Buy secondhand

Instead of buying new items all the time, shop for secondhand items. Check out local thrift stores, consignment stores, or even eBay. You can buy secondhand clothes, furniture, appliances, books, and more. You can find lots of unique items at secondhand stores and most of the time, they’re still good quality at a fraction of their original price.
thrift store clothes

Switch to eco-friendly and sustainable brands

There are many companies that incorporate environmentally friendly and ethical practices into their business. For example, these companies might include those that use recycled materials to make their products or companies that manufacture locally instead of overseas. Products from sustainable brands may be more expensive, but they also often last longer. Long term, this can save you money by not having to replace products so frequently. You can find out which brands are sustainable by looking them up online or looking for certifications such as Energy Star, B Corp Logo, and the Canadian EcoLogo.
reusable bag with vegetables

Look for long-lasting, reusable products

When shopping, purchase products that can be used over and over again. Try to avoid purchasing products that you’ll only use once and then throw away. Invest in items like cloth napkins, metal straws, plastic storage containers, stainless steel travel mugs and water bottles, and canvas bags for grocery shopping. This helps reduce waste.

You can also do this with your wardrobe. Purchase some good quality staple pieces such as plain t-shirts, jeans, and button-up shirts that can be mixed-and-matched and used for multiple occasions. Although they might be more expensive, high-quality items often last longer. However, most of the time, you’ll only need to buy these long-lasting products once, so you’ll save money in the long term.

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