How to become a more eco-conscious shopper

It would be fair to say that there has been a massive shift to “green living” over the last few years, for a good reason. We don’t need to discuss the repercussions for avoiding this once-taboo topic. The potential consequences later down the line are there for all to see.

Nevertheless, it’s still very easy to try and hide behind the big stories. In other words, while you might not control the huge amounts of emissions emitted by the automobile and other high-profile industries, we can all still play a part.

Today’s focus is going to be on shopping, as we take a look at some simple hacks to allow you to become more environmentally conscious the next time you hit the high street.

Choose your shops wisely

Like it or not, some stores are more sustainable than others. Some are almost making the environment a USP factor in itself, and it goes without saying that these are the ones you should be turning to. To coin several examples, many of the stores within the Covent Garden area have gone down this route and should be worthy of consideration.

However, there are caveats. There can be some shops that falsely play on the “sustainability” factor. In other words, when it comes to the big picture, their business model is anything but eco-friendly. This is where you really need to do your research before shopping. There are all sorts of eco-friendly definitions, and while many shops won’t tick every box, by doing your research beforehand, you can at least find out what you are really buying – and not what’s just being advertised to you!

Bring your own bags

This one should be a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget when you’re caught up in the moment. Many stores will charge you for bags now, so it is worth bringing your own. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help to reduce your reliance on plastic.

Shop local

The further your products need to travel, the more emissions will be generated. Therefore, it’s always worth considering shopping locally where possible. This is especially the case when it comes to fruit and vegetables, as these can often be picked and then sold on the same day. Not only is this going to be more eco-friendly, but the produce is likely to taste a lot better too!

Consider your actual usage of the item in question

It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and buy something that you really don’t need. This is something that happens to all of us from time to time, but it’s essential to try and be mindful of it. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also help reduce the amount of waste you’re producing.

For example, do you really need that new dress, or is this a one-use purchase? Or, what about the materials? Is it something, like cotton, which will survive the test of time, or is it something that will fall apart after a few washes?