Sustainable Shopping

How to go the extra eco-friendly mile while you shop

Just by shopping locally, you are helping the environment and local businesses. But why stop there? The way you shop can also have a great impact on the planet. Here are some simple ways to rev your eco-savvy into high gear while you're out and about.

Make a list, check it twice
Before you head to the store, make a list of items you want to buy. You'll be less likely to pick up impulse items, and you won't have to make extra shopping trips for items you forget to buy.

Ditch the extra baggage
If you're only buying a few items and can easily carry them, kindly decline a bag. Making a more ambitious shopping trip? Don't forget your Deals Magazine reusable bag, and invest in a few other cloth bags to carry all your groceries. You won't miss those plastic store bags one bit.

Pick reusable products
You may be inclined to buy single-use cups, plates, and silverware to avoid the age-old chore of dishwashing, but if you opt for reusable tableware instead, you are preventing that extra waste from ending up in a landfill.

Buy bulk
If a store offers them, consider buying bulk items with long shelf-lives like detergents, pet food, pasta, and paper products. Some stores also have bulk bins with scoopable items like rice, trail mix, and cereal that use less packaging materials.

Weigh your options
If you're looking to buy tools or outdoor supplies, ask yourself how often you will use the item and how long you'll need it for. If it's something you won't use regularly, consider renting one or perhaps borrowing one from a friend or neighbor.

Consolidate your cleaning products
Instead of buying a separate cleaning product for each item and surface in your house, consider buying a general all-purpose cleaner. You can also make your own cleaners out of simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon; check for cleaning product "recipes" online.

Buy organic food
Organic food is produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or added hormones. Organic farming techniques are designed to reduce soil and water pollution.

Buy recycled products
Recycling decreases greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the need for landfills, and conserves natural resources like water, timber, coal, and minerals.

www.reduce.org
www.epa.gov/gateway/learn/greenliving.html
www.calrecycle.ca.gov/publications/default.asp?pubid=948
www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm