Just like everything else, achieving a sustainable way of shopping requires consideration of social, economic and environmental factors.
From a social perspective, it is important to make sure that your purchases are produced under fair working conditions where workers recieve a fair wage. Check for fair trade symbols on labels and websites. It is also important to note how they are produced as this can have an impact on the people who are making them. Look into where the waste (if any) from production goes.
From an economic perspective, it is important to source efficiently and locally. Anything that you can purchase that is made locally is generally more sustainable than items that have to be shipped around the world. Not only does this have a smaller environmental impact but is beneficial to the local economy.
The biggest environmental impacts from shopping come from shipping and production. Look into where the products you are buying are made, how far they have to travel, and what goes into their production. Pollution from the power it takes to run factories and the waste produced in the factories often damages local waterways and land. Check to see what the conditions are for the factories from the companies you purchase things from - look for sustainability policies, fair trade symbols, and other similar markers.
To reduce your impacts when shopping, shop smart: know what you are buying, where it comes from, how it was made, and under what conditions was it made. Always try to reduce the amount that you buy, and when you can't reduce, reuse or at least recycle. Following these steps will make sure you're buying ethically and sustainably.
Enjoy shopping responsibly!
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