Wednesday, 04 December 2019 09:36

Are you a responsible consumer?

It’s that time of the year when we are all thinking about shopping. Shopping for food for all the festivities, new clothes for the special occasions, gifts for family and friends. The malls and shopping centres are full of people window shopping, browsing and buying. I wonder how many think about the impact of their choices while shopping?

Do you think about what you buy, bring into you home and ultimately throw away?

Do you consider the impact of your shopping practises on our environment?

Have you ever thought about the difference you can make by shopping responsibly?

Why don’t you try? Start small. And then go big!! Mother Earth will thank you!
Here are a few ways to make environmentally-conscious decisions with every purchase you make and help save the world:

1. Buy less.
Buying less means you will waste less. If we all buy less, it will ultimately lead to less production due to lower demand. This means less pollution from warehouses. Less harvesting of resources from the environment. And if you love internet shopping, buying less means less packaging and less pollution getting those goods delivered.

2. Buy quality.
My Grandmother taught me this by setting an example. Granny loved clothes and was always impeccably dressed. But she did not have a lot of clothes. She bought the best she could afford and she bought classic items that could stand the test of time. If you are buying less, you can focus on buying quality over quantity. Which in turn means your clothes will last longer and you won’t have to shop as often. And again, buying less means less impact on the environment.

3. Shop at c
harity shops and second hand markets.
This is my kind of shopping. I love popping into my favourite charity shops or trawling the second-hand markets when I need a new piece of clothing. Buying gently used items reduces the demand for manufacturing new. Another benefit to this kind of shopping is that you can donate the items you no longer want for someone else to enjoy. Everyone wins!!

4. B
uy local and seasonal.
Did you check to see where your grapes came from? T
hink about the environmental footprint of what you are buying, Check where your fresh fruit and vegetables come from. Buy fruit in season, get your vegetables from local farmers, buy free range meat and poultry where possible and check that the fish you buy is sustainable.

5. Avoid p
ackaging and especially plastic.
t does takes effort to avoid packaging. But once you start you will be amazed at just how much packaging you can avoid if you try. And to motivate you, think about the already overflowing landfills and the difference you and I can make. back. I started with reusable shopping bags, and taking my own mug for my morning coffee treat. A few years ago, I changed to shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles and have not looked back. Recently I started buying most of my dry goods at a store where I can take my own containers. Little by little I am changing my habits.

“What about recycling” you ask. Unfortunately most of our recyclable packaging actually does not get recycled and when it does, it uses a huge amount of energy to process.

There are so many ways you can make environmentally-conscious decisions with all your purchases, and these are just a few. Do you have any ideas? Remember that anything you do, however small, will make a difference.

Let’s make a difference together!

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