Shopping local and in an Earth friendly manner is becoming increasingly important in today’s economic climate. Here is a list of some things that you can do to shop with as little environmental impact as possible.
Support local grocery and clothing stores. These stores employ residents of the community, which strengthens the local economy. Here are a few student favorites: Chase Street Market, the University Bookstore, Plymouth Community Closet, Second Comings, Off the Hanger, and Peppercorn.
Buy recycled products
Look for post-consumer products. Examples are: recycled printing paper, post-consumer paper towels, etc. Please see the Greenpeace tissue guide for more information.
Shop for second-hand goods
Buying used clothing is a great way to reuse clothing and reduce your carbon footprint. Off The Hanger and local thrift stores in Plymouth have a great selection of clothing at low prices. Buying clothing from thrift stores may not be your cup of tea, but you’ll be surprised with what you can find in these stores.
Eat organic as often as possible
Going organic with some products may be slightly more expensive but the few extra pennies are well worth it. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without harmful pesticides and chemicals and are often fair trade certified. In addition to the health benefits growing food organically has a much smaller environmental impact on the planet because of the lack of pesticides being used.
Buy reusable items
Purchase items that can have more than one purpose. Good-quality items last longer and save money.
Remember to bring a reusable grocery bag
A plastic bag takes 450 years to biodegrade. Reusable grocery bags save, on average, 700+ plastic bags/person over a lifetime!
Reduce your consumer waste
Avoid buying poorly made ultra cheap products. The products exploit the earth’s natural resources. They are meant to be cheap and expendable and help to fuel our throwaway society. Buying high quality American made products will last for years and reduce your consumer waste. Check with your local recycling center for information about recycling old electronics. Avoid purchasing items that are over-packaged. It is important to be able to identify items packaged for health purposes, versus those for marketing.
Avoid impulse buying
Whether it is shopping for groceries or a day at the mall with friends, avoid purchasing items that you do not need. It not only helps the environment, but saves you money, too!