Use your consumer power for good
Choose the greenest option
- Items with recycled content. In particular, choose recycled toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins and handkerchiefs.
- Sustainably sourced wood. Make sure that any products made from new timber or virgin timber fibres - from garden chairs to paper and envelopes - carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label.
- Sustainably produced food. Choose organic food and MSC-certified seafood. Also choose processed foods – like margarine, frozen dinners and ice cream – from companies that use certified sustainable palm oil. More on food...
- Energy-efficient appliances and equipment. If you’re buying a washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher or oven, buy the most energy-efficient model you can afford. The same goes for office equipment like computers, copiers and printers. More on energy efficiency...
- Biodegradable cleaning products. These have fewer negative impacts on the soil and water system.
- Buying long-lasting items instead of cheaper, less sturdy versions several times over
- Buying second-hand items
- Repairing appliances and furniture instead of replacing them
- Reusing whatever you can – such as containers, building materials and clothing
Reduce bags and packaging
- Buy in bulk.This will reduce the amount of packaging materials you consume.
- Avoid overly packaged items.
- Bring your own bag. Using your own bag instead of the plastic or paper ones given away by stores reduces waste. Some retailers now offer rewards to customers who do not request disposable bags. Why are plastic bags so bad?