Choose the greenest option
A large number of environmentally-friendly and/or sustainably produced products are now available.
Look out for:
- 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.
You can reduce your consumption of raw materials by:
- 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
Product packaging and disposable bags are just a waste – what you really want is the thing inside.
Less packaging could reduce what you buy – and immediately throw away – by about 10%. This means less waste in landfills, which release large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
- 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.