People are becoming more and more conscious about the products they buy. This will be a year where more people jump on the ethical shopping bandwagon and gradually become more mindful about the choices they make.
Ethical shopping simply requires you to evaluate things you are buying, how you buy them and how they were made. If you are trying to improve your eco credentials, and want to shop in a more responsible way, then work towards changing your shopping habits.
Here are some tips to help you shop ethically over the next year, and beyond.
Get in the Know
The first thing you need to do, especially if you don’t know much about ethical shopping is to educate yourself. There are certain things you need to be aware of in order to be able to make informed choices. Follow some green living blogs, gets some tips online and learn all you need to know about ethical shopping.
One of the best things you can do this year when it comes to ethical shopping is to shop local. Buy clothes, food and other essentials from local stores. Therefore not only have you not had to travel far to buy what you need, those products won’t have traveled thousands of miles to get to you. Head to shops nearby that only sell products that have been made in the local area.
Give Thrift Shops a Chance
Don’t write off thrift shops, if you know where to shop and what to look for, you can find some real gems.
If you really don’t want to go down the charity shop route, at least aim to swap clothes with friends and buy the occasional second hand clothes. Buying everything brand new is bad for the environment, so try and buy second hand where possible.
Check Company Eco Credentials
Before buying anything from a brand, first check its eco credentials.
Find out where its products are manufactured and made, and who they are made by. Look for shops that offer fair trade goods, and have not exploited people to bring their products to market.
Shop Only for What You Need
Instead of buying lots of things you want, make an effort to only buy what you need. This can be tough, but once you get into the habit of only buying what you truly need, you will realize you are doing the right thing.
One of the best things you can do when it comes to ethical shopping is to not buy things you don’t need in the first place. A lot of time, effort and environmental resources go into making certain products. It’s a shame to buy things you know aren’t essential and that you will most likely to use or throw away.
Look for Certifications
Get to know the certifications for different products such as clothes, meat, fish and veg. For example, if you are buying cotton, check that it is 100% cotton, and ask the shop where it was made. Don’t be afraid to challenge brands to find out key information about their ethical shopping credentials.
Buy Quality Products
Another key point that people don’t think about is how important it is to buy quality products. Cheap products are often poor quality and end up breaking or becoming worn quickly. If you always buy bad quality things you will constantly have to replace them, which is detrimental to the environment. This year, if you do anything, try and invest in high quality products that will last.
David Thomas is an expert on recycling and is passionate about helping to save our planet. He regularly writes for environmental, eco-living and recycling websites and is a key writer for Kedel, a company that sells recycled plastics.