Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the Earth. With rising sea levels, more severe temperatures and increasing wildlife extinction rates, the failure to curb CO2 emissions is ravaging and remaking our world.
With the average UK person producing around seven tonnes of CO2 every year, we must do more to bring that number down. When everyone does their bit, the planet will be a healthier place.
Personal carbon footprint levels were one of the most talked-about features of the COP26 summit. There, world leaders agreed on limiting the amount of CO2 produced in their countries. This has led to people searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprint – and sustainable shopping offers one such solution.
Read on to find out more about sustainable shopping habits and how they could help to save the world.
What is sustainable shopping?
In a nutshell: shopping that doesn’t harm the environment. This can include:
- Buying locally sourced products
- Reducing single-use plastic purchases
- Choosing products made from sustainable materials
- Buying second-hand
Why is sustainable shopping important?
Sustainable shopping reduces our contribution to global warming. This can be particularly important when it comes to clothes, as the process of buying new clothes can be surprisingly damaging. Your new garments may come from factories that produce huge amounts of CO2 – during production, transportation or both – while your old clothes often end up in landfill. An estimated £140 million worth of clothing is sent to landfill each year, which is deeply unhealthy for the planet.
To combat this, consider recycling your clothes and buying second-hand replacements from vintage stores. This will reduce your carbon footprint going forward.
Benefits of sustainable shopping
As previously mentioned, the overall goal of sustainable shopping is to reduce carbon footprint. But that doesn’t mean that it comes without personal benefits to you and your local community! Other reasons to do it include:
- Saving money. Create a set budget for a clothing allowance and get more for your money with second-hand products
- Discovering new brands
- Supporting local businesses
How can you shop sustainably?
When you shop local, you support the finances of your community instead of a big corporation. These products tend to be sourced locally, too, which means that their carbon emissions should be much lower than those of an international company.
Buy products made from sustainable materials
Whether it’s recycled fabrics or bamboo, there are many great sustainable materials for your products. Such products tend to be of higher quality, meaning that they should last longer – and you’ll need to buy fewer replacements in the long term.
Boycott fast fashion
Fast fashion – in which cheap clothes are made from poor-quality materials by underpaid and exploited workers – is rife, with low prices meaning that people continue to buy such products, often without knowing just why they come so cheaply. It’s an unethical business structure that needs to be resisted – and tackling it would also help to reduce CO2 emissions, making sustainable shopping a win-win here.
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