3 Ways to Make Eco-Friendly Changes When Shopping for Everyday Items

| 2/7/2018 11:06:00 AM

Whether you’re attempting to be more conscious about the products you bring into your home or if you are just taking the first steps to reduce your footprint, here’s how you can make eco-friendly choices every day.

reusable shopping tote
Photo by Shutterstock

Think Reusable

How many of the everyday items you use are a one-time use? Those items, such as paper towels, contribute to unnecessary waste. In the U.S. alone we use 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year, according to The Paperless Project. If every American household used just three less paper towel rolls annually it would save 120,00 tons of waste and a whopping $4.1 million in landfill dump fees.

Other one-time use offenders are single-use coffee cups, the types you get from your favorite drive-thru coffee shop, and the plastic pods you use at home in your high-tech coffeemaker or espresso machine. Sure, you already know that plastic bottles are not a sustainable choice, but it’s high-time you eliminate other single-use items around the home, too, and opt for reusable versions.

Research Eco-Friendly Brands

It’s not always easy to find a truly eco-friendly brand. Today’s marketing ploys will have you thinking some brands are an eco-friendly choice by using buzzwords like “green” or “natural” on their packaging. But don’t be duped. Do a little research into these claims by visiting the product pages of your favorite household items. These product pages typically list any environmental initiatives established by the company or brand, ingredients of products and partnership affiliations with green companies. You may find that some of your favorite cleaning supplies fall short on their green promises, or you could be pleasantly surprised by an online home furnishings retailer and their offering of eco-conscious goods, such as energy-efficient light fixtures, during the course of your own research.

Avoid Mass-Produced Products

Mass production is a massive energy suck. The effects of mass consumption has left our oceans littered with plastic and our overstuffed landfills brimming with discarded items like clothing. Fast-fashion (think Zara and H&M), for example, has been a major contributor to mass production-caused pollution. When making purchases, try to go straight to the source, it’s the easiest way to cut your carbon footprint. Online shops, like Etsy, are a direct line to artisans and makers from all over the globe. Plus, when shopping on the site, you can narrow down your search results to find suppliers who use reclaimed or organic materials.

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