1. Plan your shopping and buy only what you need. Making a list is particularly important for grocery shopping. How many times have you bought that extra capsicum only to find two untouched in the fridge when you get home?
2. Buy products that have guarantees and are made to last. You're better off buying well-made clothes, shoes and furniture that will last you years, rather than cheaper goods that may not last the distance. Guarantees for electronics, appliances and furniture are worth having.
3. Avoid buying products with excess packaging. Switch from tea bags to tea leaves. Compare products and buy those with less packaging
4. Buy locally produced goods when you can. This helps the planet by reducing the miles travelled by the products you buy. More pollution is created by flying in goods from America, than buying items made in Victoria.
5. Check the labels when shopping to see if the brand is committed to responsible practices. There are a range of eco-labels that will tell you things like the energy efficiency rating of an appliance. (You can get more info on this if you sign up to TAKE2.)
6. Donate or buy items from not-for-profit groups. A trip to a second hand charity shop can result in some amazing buys at great prices. It can also be loads of fun, fossicking for something fabulous. Buying or donating second hand anything means you're helping the planet because more resources aren't needed to make as many brand new goods.
7. Buy a percentage of renewable energy. Contact your energy provider or check what else is available on the market. You can choose to get between 10% and 100% of your household energy from renewable sources like the sun, wind, waste or water.
8. Buy energy efficient appliances. You can check the efficiency of an appliance through its energy star rating - the more stars it has, the more energy efficient it is.
9. Buy products that include recycled content. It could be anything from recycled toilet paper or building products to jewellery made out of old typewriter keys!
10. Support sharing goods and services rather than buying. Car sharing services are a good example of the shared economy. If you only need to drive occasionally, car-sharing can be a planet-friendly and economical way of getting around without purchasing a car.
For even more sustainable shopping info, sign up to TAKE2.
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