According to National Geographic, only 9% of plastic products are recycled globally, and more than 40% of all plastic produced is made up of packaging which are only used once and then discarded. Plastic packaging is a big part of our shopping experience that leaves irreversible negative impacts on the environment. The COVID-19 preventive measures have also increased the use of plastic packaging as online shopping has surged dramatically, and excessive plastic packaging is often used to minimise damage during transportation.
Going green is a way forward for all of us to improve our shopping and purchasing habits so that unnecessary environmental impacts can be reduced. Being a green consumer, we need to conserve resources, save energy, and prevent waste by buying sustainable products that are energy efficient, made with recycled materials or are recyclable and have minimal packaging. Let’s keep environmental considerations in mind and get started by adjusting our lifestyles and shopping lists progressively to reduce plastic pollution.
Even small eco-friendly choices during our shopping trips can make a huge difference to the environment, so here are some useful eco-friendly shopping tips:
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Find the Right Places to Shop
Carbon emissions are major contributors to environmental impacts. Try to go shopping at stores close to your home and to go after work instead of going on special trips to save petrol which make a big difference for the environment. Moreover, find a store that cares about the environment where eco-friendly alternatives are available.
Bring Your Own Bags and Containers
One way you can avoid buying products with a lot of packaging is to bring your own reusable shopping bags. You can also take your own containers to the butcher or restaurant to avoid extra packaging.
Choose Reusable Products
Buy reusable and sustainable products which can last longer such as rechargeable batteries, instead of disposable items like plastic cutlery and crockery.
Avoid Excessive Packaging
Look for products that have less packaging or buy in bulk for less waste generation, disposal and transportation. Consider retailers that provide greener services.
Avoid Express Shipping
Avoiding express delivery options for your online purchases can allow delivery companies to consolidate more orders into one shipment instead of multiple shipments for single items, which can help in reducing emissions.
Shop in Second-hand Stores
Consider buying your clothes in second-hand stores as well as donating your old clothes to people in-need. This can help reduce textile waste and its environmental footprint, because old clothes would otherwise end up in a landfill or in the environment. Why buy something new when you can give old clothes a new life?
Buy Local Products
Whenever possible, avoid imported products and buy from local merchants. This not only allows you to support local businesses but also reduces the amount of packaging used in transportation. Buying local products also helps minimise carbon emissions generated by shipping imported products from other parts of the world.
Choose Eco-friendly Packaging Products
Whenever possible, try to buy products that are in recycled packaging to encourage manufacturers to avoid wasteful packaging.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Take time to consider if the item is ‘really’ or ‘urgently’ required. Avoid buying things that you do not really need which might end up in a landfill or the environment.
Shop with a Conscious Mindset
Practice the core values of going green – reduce, reuse and recycle. Reuse your paper bags and eco-friendly bags; recycle cardboard boxes your shopping items come in; reuse product bottles and more. Also opt for energy and water-efficient appliances and electronic items.
The Journey Continues…
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