5 Tips for Being a more Sustainable Consumer

You can be more eco-friendly in your everyday life by consuming less, supporting companies that are sustainable and buy ethical products. The change to live more sustainably can be done little by little and in the long term you can make a great impact.

First do your research, you can check for sustainable business around you on the net, or asking around. There are several consumer guides and websites which advertise and rate companies and products according to their ethical and environmental records.

1. Buy Local
Consider shopping from local producers and manufacturers and bolster the economy in your community.  Ask questions and do research into how items are produced. Local items likely have a smaller carbon footprint because they haven’t traveled long distances to get to your community. Support local farmers, always.

2. Focus on Quality
Think about foregoing the two-for-one special or prices that seem too good to be true. Poor quality items need to be constantly replaced, so they become part of the landfill fodder that cost us more in the long run. Instead, consider buying quality products that last so you save money and help the environment too.

3. Check Certifications
There are a number of certifications which provide indications that the products you are buying are eco-friendly.
The Fair Trade seal indicates that items meet the internationally agreed social, environmental and economic Fairtrade Standards.
FSC Certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that are evaluated to meet FSC's strict environmental and social standards.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification mark on your seafood means you are buying responsibly caught fish. Look for the blue MSC label on sustainable fish and seafood in shops and restaurants
EnergyStar is the simple choice for energy efficiency.

4. Vintage is back!
There are always treasures to find in thrift stores and yard sales. When you purchase second-hand items, you prevent them from ending up in the landfill while also avoiding the environmental impact of manufacturing something new.

5. Engage
You may not only follow these tips, but also talk about them and share your experiences. Join environmental groups or sign petitions to the government. Many consumers are also engaging with their favorite brands to see what steps they are taking to be more environmentally friendly.