Over the years, I have become more conscious of how much waste one can produce. Purchasing based on needs not wants. When I decide to purchase, I base it on all aspects of the product: the price, material/ingredients used to how it’s sourced, take into account the way the product is produced, ethically & sustainably made, to the end product and packaging used (upcycle friendly & recyclable). It's everyone's ability to become more aware of one’s rubbish.
Let's face it, we have so many choices and prices to choose from. Not all product ingredients are good for us. The items that are cheaper in price do not always last long or are made with good quality ingredients. You don’t need to waste a ton of money for good products or good ingredients. Don’t let the price deter your purchase when it’s for your well-being.
Companies have started doing research for you so you won’t need to research as much. Research to become familiar with products and weed out the brands that only claim to be green (clean). Support companies that give back, not just in the community. Helping the environment by making their footprint greener. Support as many companies that are carbon-neutral and sustainable for all your needs. Don't forget to support local companies whenever possible.
Some companies have recycling/product refill programs, so you can reuse their jars and bottles, etc. You can send back containers to get refilled by the company at little to no cost. Some companies allow you to send back empty jars, to receive a credit offered by the company. The more consumers push for this change, companies will have to become more sustainable and give us clean products. Search for local refill shops. You can bring your own bottles/jars for lotion, laundry detergent, and/or any type of cleaning supplies.
We can start small by bringing our reusable bags when shopping (produce bags, bags to place your groceries, and even jars to take meats/poultry in). Buying products with minimal packaging or recycled content instead of materials that are non-recyclable.
Some quick tips to help with shopping (in-person or online):
- take many small reusable (cloth or other material) bags and/or jars to place produce in and meat/poultry in (anything from the deli, butcher, or specialty cheese section)
- check out websites that have tested your product(s) for toxic level info
- use preferred search engine & adding keywords like "eco, sustainable, ethical" will help you identify brands that are ethical & sustainability sourced
- ask around, family, friends or neighbors, anyone can have tips they’ve come across for buying many needed items
- buying in bulk (larger sizes offered by many brands) for items that are used heavily (toilet paper, laundry detergent, kitchen soap, etc.)
When you purchase your next need item(s) ask yourself the following:
- Is the product made sustainable?
- Does the company use ingredients that are good for us (can you read the ingredients on the label)?
- Can you use the packaging for something else (pencil holder, paint brush holder, paper weight, food storage, plant holder, organizer of some sort, etc.)?
- Is this a need, or a want?