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First 6 things to look for when buying eco-friendly

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

When there's so much greenwashing* in the shops, it's hard to know what's really best when it comes to buying more eco-friendly products. So here's a quick introductory list of what to think about when you're shopping, this is what you want to be looking for:

1. Natural, organic materials. - if you want to go deeper, make sure the materials aren't processed with harsh chemicals. Although there are always pros and cons of different materials.

2. Grown/made locally! - Smaller carbon footprint and supporting your local economy!

3. Reusable and durable. - Quality over quantity! Often spending a little bit more for a better quality item will save you money in the long run because you won't have to buy a replacement every week/month/year. And you'll be reducing your carbon footprint by not over-consuming!

4. Plastic Free product and packaging! - plastic is made from finite fossil fuels which are running out and causing drilling in fragile environments (check out Greenpeace's movement against drilling in the Arctic). Although some plastics are recyclable, when they are recycled the plastic gets weaker and ends up in landfill because it can't be recycled again. A lot of plastic ends up in the ocean where only marine life, divers and surfers see it but it has a huge negative impact on our planet and quality of life.

5. Compostable or biodegradable after use! By following rule #1 this should be easy!

6. Brands/Companies that work with charities! - A big consideration is what you want your money to be supporting. Because by buying a product or service you are supporting that kind of industry/charity which would then grow with all the support. Some companies might be more expensive simply because they give so much to a charitable cause. Personally, I want to support small businesses and eco-friendly living so that these can grow and not be overshadowed by unsustainable corporate.

Brands aren't going to tick all the boxes unless they are very very good. Lots of people prioritise these points differently; some care more about the natural materials than how local things are, some care more about the charitable action the company takes. It's up to you, it's good to keep learning about these things and I'll be posting more about how to grow your thinking and become more aware of our impact.

*Greenwashing is when companies use design to make you think or assume that the product or service is good for the environment when in fact it hasn't got that much going for it when you look into the details of the product or what the company do.


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