2010-04-23

Smart Ways to Go Green while Shopping

Everything you buy affects the environment, but some choices are better than others. If you believe in the “Change begins with me” motto, here are some cool ways of going green when you go shopping.

1.Make a list
Even before you are actually doing your weekly shopping you can start being eco-friendly. Make a list of everything you need to buy so that you can save on making any unnecessary trips in your car again, just because you forgot buying the potatoes. Just a bit of pre-shopping preparation can save fuel, money and effort.

 2. Buy local
 Much of the food we buy in the grocery store that usually could be bought locally is shipped in from other parts of the country. Why not just buy from local farmers to get fresher produce that will taste better? What's more, you reduce your carbon footprint by not buying products that needed to be transported from far away.

3. Avoid excess packaging
Look for products that have less packaging, or buy in bulk -- you'll have less to throw away. You can also buy items with packaging that can be reused or recycled.
Also, if you can, put all your products in one bag, even if it is from different shops.



4. Check the energy star label
Look for the BEE Star Energy Efficiency Labels when buying new kitchen appliances or electronic items. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) Star Energy Efficiency Labels have been created to standardize the energy efficiency ratings of different electrical appliances and indicate energy consumption under standard test conditions.
You not only save energy consumption but also money on your electricity bills.



5.  Buy Used
Items like books, CDs, furniture and even cars in good conditions can be easily brought at a used goods store.


6. Buy Recycled 
When buying items like tissue rolls or bags, get stuff that is made from recycled materials. Buying items made with recycled-content materials means that fewer natural resources, such as trees, were used to produce the products.
Products made from recycled paper, plastic, and other materials are usually easy to recognize in the store -- just read the labels. Try starting with school supplies. Many stores carry recycled notebooks, pens, and other products.



7.  Buy Durable Items  
Instead of buying disposable products, which are wasteful, buy things that will last a long time, such as rechargeable batteries and reusable ceramic mugs for drinks. Junk the paper towels and buy cloth napkins instead for your kitchen and table that can be washed and reused over and over.


8. Share and Swap  
Another way to save resources and energy is to swap with friends and family instead of buying brand-new products. Maybe you and your friends like the same video games. Why not share your games instead of each of you owning the same game? Or maybe you can rent the game first to see if you really want to own it.


9. Buy in Bulk  
Small sizes use more packaging for each ounce of product than larger sizes. So, if you buy large sizes, you save money, reduce waste, and help the environment.
Items with longer shelf life can easily be brought in larger quantities like rice, flour, pulses and cereal.



10. Carry your own bags
The most basic way you can contribute to going green is to carry your own bags, preferably cloth or jute and avoid using plastic bags. When out shopping, if it's just for one or two items, don't accept a plastic bag. And reuse the ones that you do have.

Don't just throw away the plastic bag you get from stores, stash it and carry it for the next time you go shopping.
 


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