Shopping is both fun and necessary, but eco-conscious consumers can make a positive impact on the environment through a combination of smart choices, planning and education. As we get ready to celebrate Earth Day this Friday, April 22, here are a five ways you can start reducing your carbon footprint while shopping.
- BYOB. Bags, that is.
Tote bags and reusable shopping bags offered by most stores are a great way to lessen your carbon footprint. Sometimes getting shopping bags at stores are unavoidable, and even cost extra, but even those can be reused and recycled.
- Go for the digital deals.
Instead of using paper to print out coupons to save money, go the digital route instead. Find the best deals at your fingertips using shopping apps like Find&Save. Search for digital coupons, browse sales and earn cash back for shopping at those stores by just taking a photo of your receipt.
- Plan your route.
You can easily save both time and energy by planning your shopping route in advance. Instead of a quick trip to a far-flung store for just one item, keep a list and map out your shopping destinations onto one convenient, gas-saving route
- Don’t purchase packaging.
Ever come back from the grocery store feeling like you’ve purchased more paper and plastic than food? Try to avoid excess packaging and subsequent waste by singling out items with minimal packaging. Some packaging, such as jars and lidded containers, can be washed and reused to store everything including food, craft, and other household items. Finally, make sure you have a handy recycling center set up somewhere in your home and give that paper bag, plastic and glass a second life.
- Buy used.
Purchasing gently used items where you can makes a big impact on the environment by keeping items out of landfills. Flea markets, yard sales and thrift stores are perfect for finding like-new and even designer clothes, sports equipment, books, and home accessories at a deep discount. Just don’t forget to donate or sell your used items to keep the cycle going. Apps such as Offer Up and Vinted make it easy to buy and sell your used goods with shoppers nearby.