If you are like most people, consumerism probably plays a big role in your daily life. With so many products out there, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to shopping sustainably. 

So here are 7 steps you can take to ensure your family is shopping responsibly and reducing its impact on the planet.


  1. Buy from ethical companies

There are many companies out there that don’t care about the environment or sustainability. But there are also brands that use sustainable materials and production methods, minimise their waste and carbon emissions, and are transparent about the working conditions of their employees.

It’s a good idea to make sure your family is aware about these sustainable — or green — companies and they try to buy from them only. This is especially true for big and expensive purchases because you don’t want the wrong companies profiting off the environment.

One great example is jewellery. According to a 2022 ethical report, over one third of consumers said they would spend more on ethical jewellery. This meant jewellery that was sustainably sourced, ethically produced, and environmentally friendly.

Of course, this is just one example — you’ll find ethical and sustainable brands in every industry, so make sure to look for businesses who have sustainable practices, such as carbon neutrality and produce ethical reports on statistics.


  1. Choose quality over quantity

Even if you’re shopping from sustainable companies, it’s not a good idea to shop too much! Instead, focus on buying quality items that will last for years. Not only will this save your family money in the long term, but it’s also more sustainable because fewer products need to be made and replaced.

One great example of a rule that forces you to choose quality over quantity is the 30 wears test. It was created by Livia Firth in 2015, and states that you should only buy clothes if you think you can wear them at least 30 times. 

This rule forces people to think twice about their purchases and it also encourages them to buy clothing that is of better quality and will last longer.

Interestingly, many environment enthusiasts believe the 30 wears test is outdated. With the earth warming up rather quickly, consumers need to be even more mindful about their choices and opt for items that will last even longer (think lifetime).

So the next time your family decides to upgrade their wardrobe, encourage them to follow the 30 wears rule or even go beyond it!


  1. Avoid impulse purchases

Impulse purchases are the enemy of sustainable shopping. Not only do they add up to a lot of unnecessary waste, but they also cost your family a lot of money. To avoid this, it’s best to plan your purchases in advance and stick to it.

So if you’re going out shopping, make sure to create a list of items that your family needs and stick to it. This way, you won’t be tempted by all the shiny new stuff that’s out there and you’ll stick to only buying what you actually need.

Another great way to avoid impulse purchases is to shop online. Many people find that they are more likely to stick with their lists when shopping online, as they can’t be tempted by all the items in a store. 

Plus, shopping online helps reduce the environmental impact of shopping, as shipping items is far more efficient than driving to a store.

Finally, try to shop only when you really need something. Taking regular shopping trips can lead to impulse purchases and increase your family’s waste, so go out only when you need something.


  1. Group your purchases

Although online shopping is more sustainable than in-store shopping, you won’t make much of an impact if you keep ordering small items. That’s because every time you order, the company has to package and ship your items — which costs resources that add up over time.

So try to group your purchases together whenever you can. This means that you can order multiple items at once and avoid having to add on a new shipment for every single item.

Additionally, you can also look for companies that offer group discounts. Some stores will give you a discount if you purchase multiple items, which is great for families who like to shop in bulk.

It’s also a good idea to avoid fast — or “express” — delivery options when shopping online. That’s because these services often require the use of more resources in order to get your items to you quickly. 

So if you can, opt for a slower delivery option, allowing the company to consolidate their shipments and reduce their impact on the environment.


  1. Buy local products

We all like to buy fancy, imported products from time to time, but it’s important to be mindful about where your purchases come from.

That’s because local products tend to have a much lower environmental impact than imported goods. Shipping products from across the world requires a lot of energy and resources, so try to buy locally whenever possible.

Plus, you’ll also be supporting local businesses and helping to create a more sustainable economy. The next time you’re out shopping for food or clothing, try to look for local sellers.


  1. Buy second-hand items

Many people have an aversion to buying second-hand items, but try to look past this and think about the impact your purchases have on the environment.

By buying second-hand items, you’re helping to reduce the amount of waste that’s created when new items are made. Plus, you’ll also be saving money and supporting local businesses that specialise in second-hand items.

This is especially true for items such as cars, furniture, and electronics. By shopping for these items second-hand, you’ll be giving them a new lease of life — which is much better than throwing them away and creating more waste.

So next time you need something, consider buying second-hand before you rush off to a store and buy something new.


  1. Avoid items wrapped up in plastic

Plastic is the nemesis of sustainability, and it’s important to do your best to avoid purchasing items that are wrapped up in plastic.

Look for alternatives such as cardboard, paper, or even glass when shopping for food items. Many stores are now offering these types of packaging, and it’s a great way to reduce your family’s waste.

Additionally, you can also look for reusable alternatives to single-use plastic items such as shopping bags and water bottles. 


Final words

Shopping sustainably can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and approach it doesn’t have to be. 


By following the steps above, you can help make a difference and ensure that your family is doing their part to reduce waste. So start shopping smarter today and support the move towards a more sustainable future.

Also, don’t forget to check out our post on 3 Ways To Reduce Your Family’s Carbon Footprint if you really care about the planet!



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