When you look around you, especially when you need to buy something, you’ll see that a lot of what’s on offer is disposable. It’s not built to last because people are expected to buy new things all the time and simply throw out anything they no longer want. The problem is, this isn’t an ethical – or sustainable – way to shop, and it is damaging the environment significantly. Not only that, but this kind of purchasing leads to you having to spend more in the long term because even if the items themselves are cheap (which they often are), you’ll have to purchase more of them. Thinking about all of this, you might be wondering how you can change things and start to make more ethical purchases. Read on for some ideas on how to get started.
Shop In Thrift Stores
One of the best places to start is your own purchases. So, what is it you buy the most? For a lot of people, it will be clothing, or perhaps books and music, or something related to a relaxing pastime. Although you can buy all of these things in standard stores, you might be surprised at what you can find in a charity or thrift store. Although it will take a little longer to look through all the items on offer in such a store – some of them won’t be worth buying – in the end, it’s highly likely you’ll find just what you want at a fraction of the price of buying the same (or similar) thing in brand-new condition.
What’s truly worthwhile about doing this isn’t just the fact that you’re saving the things you buy from going to landfill and that you can find some amazing bargains that will last you a long time, but that when you buy anything from a thrift store, you donate money to a good cause. This makes shopping there even more ethical than you might have thought.
As well as buying items from a thrift store, you can donate unwanted items there, too – another way to help the planet a little in your everyday life. Once you’ve done this important task, you may need to top up your closet with new clothes, which ideally will come from a thrift store, as we’ve said.
However, if you would prefer to buy new items, then try to budget better so that you only buy exactly what you need, rather than garments you like the look of but that will, in the end, sit in your closet and do nothing until you throw them out or donate them.
Whereas you would normally try to give yourself the best, perhaps biggest, budget possible, when it comes to buying clothes, for example (although this will work with pretty much anything you need to purchase), make the budget as small as you sensibly can. In this way, you’ll only buy what you need and won’t be tempted by other things. Buying in this more thoughtful, sustainable way is great for an ethical way of doing things.
Another highly ethical way to make your essential purchases is to buy locally whenever you can. If you can spend your money – money you were going to spend anyway – in local, independent stores, you are supporting your local area, helping the local economy, and giving small businesses the money that would otherwise have gone to big corporations that are always making quite enough profit.
As an added benefit, when you shop locally rather than further afield, you’ll be using less fuel, which is also good for the environment.