Goods and food often make up over 50% of an individual’s and home’s ecological footprint. There are also environmental issues associated with food and goods production relating to resource use (including land use, water use and mineral extraction), hazardous and/or toxic ingredients, production waste and post-consumer waste.
including clothes, cleaning products and garden products.
(Please note that electrical appliances, lights, heaters and vehicles are dealt with in other sections.)
Buy less stuff
The first question is: do you really need it?Could you make do without it altogether? If you can’t, do you need to own it? Could you borrow it, rent it or make it instead?
If you really have to own something, can you get it second-hand? Most things are available second-hand, in good condition. You will save money and you will avoid the need to make something new.
When you buy locally made goods, you support people in your own community, creating self-sufficiency and resilience. Buying local also reduces freight, therefore greenhouse gases.
Buy sustainable design
Environmentally sustainable goods maximise several design factors: material efficiency, low embodied energy, non-toxicity, renewable materials and durability. Read more»
Durability and quality
The longer a product lasts the better. Disposable and bad quality products should be avoided! It is better for your well-being and for the planet if you buy less, better quality products that do a better job and last longer.
Buy goods with as little packaging as possible.
Environmental labelling makes a positive statement by identifying a product as less harmful to the environment than another similar product.