This week, we’re going to discuss the dos and don’ts when starting to think and buy more sustainably. I hope this creates an easy first step resource for people that desire to take the next step in going green.
DON’T THROW EVERYTHING AWAY RIGHT AWAY: DO NOT throw everything unsustainable in your home away. It can be tempting to want to find all new alternative switches as soon as you become interested in sustainability but throwing away not fully used products or random things like that is doing more harm than good. For example, if you find out that your shampoo is unsustainable in how they package and/or produce it, your instinct may be to throw it out. But don’t. Use up the rest of the product and then go and find a sustainable, cruelty free shampoo.
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH: Research, research, research. You can find affordable eco-friendly brands, ideas about smart alternatives to unsustainable options, and so much more. While listening to other peoples advice is great, knowing what will work best for you through your own research will help you take control over this area of your life and help you feel empowered over your choices.
DON’T EVER SHAME YOURSELF FOR HAVING TO PURCHASE AN UNSUSTAINABLE ITEM: It is important to be careful what you buy but a random product here and there that you have to buy that isn’t the most earth-friendly is not the worst thing. If you are able to buy sustainably made items, please consider it. But if you have only one brand of a product that works for you, don’t feel ashamed if you keep using it. Making small changes still are very important and not giving up one item shouldn’t make you go off course for everything else.
DO BUY SMART: Buy things that you KNOW that you will use. If you just want to test something out, see if anyone you know already owns that item and see if you can use some of it or borrow it. If no one you know has it, read reviews and read about the ingredients or materials used to create the item and see the environmental impact. The advice above goes for items and products but it is also absolutely important for grocery shopping too. While you can’t usually “borrow” food from people, be careful in how you shop. If you see perishables that you want but you don’t know if you’ll be able to eat it all, consider not buying it or looking to see if they have a smaller size of the food. Like the above “don’t,” just use best judgement. A splurge here and there won’t really do that much damage but just be careful to not do that too often because it’s harder on the environment if you don’t end up using all of it but it’s also just a more expensive way to live. You can save a lot of money being careful in what you buy!
I hope that this advice is helpful and easy to start practicing. Like I have said before, there is so much empowerment you can feel knowing that you are helping the environment through your decisions.