Shopping Green – Making an Impact

Sep 25, 2009

The actions you make in your shopping habits have a huge impact on our earth and its environment which affects us all. Each year, 160 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated. In your lifetime you will throw away 600 times your weight in garbage. Your daily purchases, no matter how small, are having a massive impact on the environment. The destruction of nonrenewable resources, global warming, industrial toxins that are polluting our environment and therefore us, is all a result of our purchasing habits.

If we would change one small area of our purchasing habits – shopping for home or office, beauty supplies, clothing, food, etc. – to more responsible consumption, you make a difference. Most folks do not see the connection between what we buy and the impact on the damage done to the environment. But shopping green reduces pollution and toxins in the environment, promotes fair treatment for workers, conserves vital resources and reduces animal suffering.

Tips for shopping green:

  • Buy products in the largest size you can use.
  • Purchase what you can in bulk and store them at home in glass jars or plastic ware.
  • If you buy purified water, buy it in plastic jugs instead of small individual bottles. Or switch from bottled water by installing a water filter on your tap, saving resources and money.
  • Buy reusable long lasting items such as: rechargeable batteries, cloth diapers, non-disposable cameras, cloth towels and napkins, hand razors, high quality/long life tires and coffee mugs or liquid containers for beverages.
  • Shop for clothing made from renewable materials such as organic cotton or hemp, produced locally, and made with natural dyes, fair trade produced and / or recycled.
  • Shop for food that is organic, locally grown or processed, and doesn’t contain pesticides or genetically modified ingredients.

Buying recycled diverts waste from the landfill into useful purposes and saves resources and energy. If every household in the U.S. would replace just one roll of virgin toilet paper with 100 percent recycled tissue, we would save:

  • 297,000 trees
  • 1.2 million cubic feet of landfill space (1,400 full garbage trucks’ worth)
  • 122 million gallons of water (1 year’s supply for 3,500 families of four)
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