Sustainability is becoming more and more important for many people the world over. Our impact on the world around us can often be reversed as limited by making simple changes that protect the environment and reduce wastage.
We all know that limiting our use of plastic, especially single-use plastic, and cutting down on energy consumption, are easy ways to reduce our carbon footprint (currently 16 tonnes per person in the US), but when it comes to purchases, what can you do to ensure you are shopping more ethically? Read on to learn more.
Look into Production Methods
Some products are very labor and energy-intensive to produce, and even if they appear to be better for the environment, that isn’t always the case. This can be true of almond milk. While it is better for you than dairy, it is very water and energy-intensive to produce and, as such, isn’t as ethical a choice as, say, oat milk which studies how it has the lowest overall emissions to produce. Other angles to look at include the type of labor to make the product, particularly for fast fashion, and the damage in the world around them, such as diamonds. You can choose ethically mined or lab diamonds to avoid supporting criminal activity associated with blood diamonds.
Check Businesses Ethical Commitments
88% of consumers want the brand’s they purchase from or partner with to be more ethical. If a company isn’t focused on making its products or production methods more sustainable, it could alienate a large section of its customer base. Do your research to look into the company past the surface level. Some may pay lip service to the cause and say they carry out ethical practices while not doing much. Check out their policies, suppliers, articles in relevant industry news, and so on to ensure their ethos aligns with yours before purchasing.
If a company is shipping products or supplies from across the world, it will have an impact on the environment before it even reaches you. Choose companies that partner with local businesses or use local supplies to keep costs down, reduce emissions, and support the local economy. Whether it is eating at local restaurants using freshly caught seafood or locally grown produce or you purchase from companies using products made locally or in your home country to avoid excessive travel. Another option when it comes to fresh produce is to eat in season. This means choosing fruits and vegetables that naturally grow at this time of year and aren’t imported from another country to meet demand.
When it comes to reducing your impact on the world around you, it is essential to remember it’s not just the big gestures that matter but the consistent small changes you make to ensure you are constantly focusing on your carbon footprint and reducing waste and excess. From shopping locally to choosing ethical brands with green policies in place, there are many little things you can do to ensure you are moving in the right direction.