Have you experienced purchasing something, be it online or offline, and subsequently regretted it because you realized it wasn't actually needed? Or have you already had something similar? For example, you may have found yourself owning two sets of similar dresses, with one already safely stored and forgotten in a corner of your cupboard.
Bringing your own bag (BYOB) is a straightforward sustainability practice that proves effective for most shopping needs. Here are seven smart tips to help you make sustainable and intelligent purchasing choices, leaving you not only feeling good but also reducing your ecological footprint:
1. Maximize your usage: Did you know that some of the most sustainable items are the ones you already own? It's true! Every time you purchase something new, it contributes to environmental impact, from raw material extraction to disposal. So, there's no need to feel overwhelmed or rush to replace everything in your home with sustainable alternatives immediately. Instead, consider maximizing the use of items you already own.
- You can use reusable items multiple times, and clothing can be worn until it's no longer suitable.
- By closely examining your belongings, you might even discover hidden potential in some old items, such as reviving an old dresser with a fresh coat of paint!
Not only will you reduce your environmental footprint, but you'll also save money. So why not give it a try and uncover the hidden gems in your own home?
2. Buy Local: Did you know that buying local not only supports your community's economy but also reduces fuel and emissions used in transportation with reduced distance? So, next time you are shopping, consider starting with products Made in India and gradually transitioning to products made in your state, wherever possible. Your choices can reduce your footprint and have a positive impact on both the environment and your local economy!
3. Buy Seasonal: Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables & reduce your food's footprint as it requires less transportation and energy to reach you. The produce will be fresher and nutritionally richer, as it is harvested at its peak ripeness.
4. Choose slower, grouped delivery: Shopping online has its convenience and at times is more sustainable. But in want of immediate gratification, we end up ordering multiple times. This results in more delivery trucks and trips ultimately leading to increased emissions. To reduce your footprint, it helps when you plan and consolidate your online purchases. Group your orders to make delivery more efficient and choose slower delivery options whenever possible to reduce the number of trips.
5. Choose your Product / Packaging wisely: Just because an item has a recycling symbol on it, does not necessarily mean that it can be recycled in your area or that there is a market for it. To ensure that your purchases actually make a difference, consider buying products made from reclaimed materials. These items have already been recycled and repurposed. Choose products with minimal or recyclable packaging. Avoid products with excessive plastic or non-recyclable packaging. This not only reduces waste but also the clutter.
6. Energy Efficiency: When buying electronics or appliances, choose energy-efficient models that use less power and last longer. This helps you save on your electricity bills along with reducing environmental impact by using less fossil-derived energy.
7. Buy Second-hand: Instead of buying new products, consider purchasing used or refurbished ones. This provides existing products with another opportunity to be utilized. Explore the availability of local sharing groups or ask friends and family members if they can lend you the item you need. You can also check out free reuse platforms like Freecycle. Additionally, consider swapping items with friends and neighbours.
We need not be sustainability champions to save our planet, but we all can take small steps.
Shop less but shop better.