How To Shop Sustainably
Starting a low-waste lifestyle can seem overwhelming, especially considering how our entire society is designed around convenience, expedience and single-use items. We have been trained to shop without question and trust the system, but our litter-ridden planet shows us that the system is broken. The easy thing to do is go with the flow and plead ignorance, but the truth is unavoidable; we HAVE to change. Here are some easy but important tips to remember when making efforts to shop sustainably.
1. NO ONE IS PERFECT
Okay, I just had to get that out there. I started this business as an effort to help deliver more sustainable alternatives to items we use in our daily routines, but that in no way means I don’t create waste. What matters is that we all take small steps in a positive direction to show the world where we want to go. The big brands won’t change as long as we are buying their environmentally toxic products, we have to use our spending power to vote for the kind of businesses we want to see more of.
2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE/ RE-PURPOSE
Before throwing away/recycling all of the plastic in your house, use what you have! I still have some half-used containers of face wash and old Tupperware in my house. It’s important to use the full lifetime of an item before discarding it. I re-purpose glass jars from marinara sauce and salsa to hold my homemade dishwasher detergent and bulk grocery items. Re-purposing takes much less energy than recycling!
3. ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED
It can be tempting to buy allll of the things. Trust me, I know. But our consume, consume, consume society is sucking our planet’s resources dry and simultaneously covering it with waste. When making purchases, even on this site, think... do I need this? For example, I LOVE taking my reusable cutlery kit to work, restaurants, and on trips- but you could wrap some silverware from your house in a towel and it would serve the same purpose. Do what feels right to you, but slow down before you make a purchase and consider the alternatives first.
4. CONSOLIDATE YOUR ORDERS
When shopping online, consider the importance of placing one larger order vs. multiple small orders. If you know you will need a year's worth of toothpaste or shampoo, don’t order every other month! Order once! Trust me, I won’t be mad if you’re not ordering items from the site 5 times a year. Please take the time to plan and bulk order your shipment to reduce the environmental footprint of mailing a package.
5. SOURCE SECONDHAND AND LOCAL
This one is my favorite and perhaps the most overlooked way to shop sustainably. I love asking my neighbor to borrow items and sharing my handmade goods with her; not only are we growing in community, but we are helping to reduce the impacts of shipping and manufacturing new goods. Shopping secondhand can seem time consuming, but it's fun when you have a free day to spend with a friend! Buying truly locally made products is difficult, some of our products like our bamboo based goods are grown in China (and we love them!) but if you can buy direct from the source- do!
6. AVOID NON-DEGRADABLE MATERIALS (PLASTIC)
I don’t think I need to say any more here.
7. INVEST IN QUALITY
Sometimes it’s hard to justify spending more for items that are organic, local, or handmade- and sometimes it's just financially not possible, but consider the long-lasting effects of purchasing fast-fashion and single-use goods. Most of our products are a little more expensive up front than the items you’ll find at the corner mega-market, BUT- most of our products also last MUCH longer which makes them more affordable overall. If we just bought less and invested more in quality products that are better for the environment, I’m confident the returns will be seen for generations to come.