You’ve swapped out all your lightbulbs for energy-efficient LEDs. You recycle. You even compost. But you’re still looking for new ways to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle. With some simple changes to your shopping habits, you can go green, reduce your carbon footprint, and maybe save some green in the process. Learn how to shop sustainably with these seven tips.
1. Stay Local
The internet makes it easy to purchase whatever we want, whenever we want it, and have it delivered straight to our front doors. But with this convenience often comes a bigger carbon footprint. Many goods you buy online have to be shipped from the other side of the country—or the world—to get to you, requiring fuels burned by ships, planes, and trucks.
So, is shopping local more sustainable? You betcha. Whether you’re buying produce at a nearby farm or revamping your wardrobe at a little boutique on Mainstreet, you can help reduce the resources needed to ship goods all over the country. Plus, shopping local or small businesses makes it easier to find made-to-order goods that can cut down on product waste.
2. Select Sustainable Brands
Shopping local is great, but it’s not always the most realistic option. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to many local businesses. Or, your local shops simply might not have what you need. When shopping online, try to stick with brands that practice and promote sustainability. From sustainable furniture brands to clothing brands, you can find exactly what you’re looking for with some research.
3. Shop Second-Hand
Something doesn’t have to be brand new to be new to you. Whether you’re shopping online or in-person, you can never go wrong with browning resale shops. When it comes to common items like clothing, furniture, appliances, or books, used can be just as good as new.
Not only can buying used help you save the planet, but it can also help you save money as second-hand goods tend to be cheaper than their new counterparts. So, if you’re on the hunt for sustainable office furniture, electronics, shoes, or something else, start by checking out some second-hand stores.
4. Avoid Trends
Trends come and go, and trying to stick to what’s “in” at the moment can lead to unsustainable shopping habits. When you adhere to trends, you may only be able to use something for a few months before it’s considered outdated. But avoiding trends doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. You can find timeless clothing, furniture, and decor options that will never go out of style.
5. Buy Less Stuff
One of the easiest ways to be a more sustainable shopper is simply cutting back on your spending. The more you buy, the more resources are needed, and the more junk you’ll toss in a landfill. Try to stick to the basics when shopping and avoid those tempting impulse purchases that will just collect dust until you finally decide to throw them out. Shopping less will also keep a little more green in your pocket.
Create a Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe can help you reduce how much you spend in the clothing department. To build a capsule wardrobe, select a few timeless pieces of clothing that you can mix and match to create multiple outfits. You can reduce how many clothes you purchase while keeping a versatile wardrobe available. Make sure your capsule wardrobe checklist includes pants, tops, skirts, jackets, and other items that can be swapped out and paired with each other.
6. Don’t Skimp on Quality
Fast fashion and fast furniture are both terrible for the environment. Companies that participate in fast fashion or furniture churn out a wide variety of styles cheaply and quickly, leading consumers to focus on quantity more than quality. After all, why spend $100 on two shirts when you could get 10? But fast fashion and furniture items fall apart faster. This means more waste in landfills, and you have to go shopping more often, so are you actually saving money?
Don’t fall into the trap of fast whatever. Instead, opt for purchasing the highest quality you can afford. Low-quality goods require the same amount of resources to manufacture as high-quality items, but high-quality items will need to be replaced far less often. Focus on quality for big-ticket items like furniture and appliances to become a more eco-conscious homeowner.
7. Repair and Reuse When Possible
When your couch cushion gets stained beyond cleaning or your favorite jeans rip, you might be tempted to toss it out and buy something new. Before making a trip to the trash can or dump, consider if there’s an opportunity to fix or repurpose. Jeans can easily be patched, and you can reupholster a stained couch so it looks like new. Keep an eye out for other fun projects like using leftover fabric as sustainable gift wrap or turning recyclable goods into DIY green home decor.
Start Shopping Sustainably With CORT Furniture Outlet
Stop purchasing fast furniture and start your sustainable shopping journey with CORT Furniture Outlet. By shopping online or in-store at your local CORT Furniture Outlet, you can both reduce your carbon footprint and your waste output. Across the CORT enterprise, prioritize quality construction and employ high standards for product materials. We emphasize protecting and re-conditioning every piece, which in turn keeps furniture out of the landfills and cuts down on emissions. Well before our furniture and decor items come to the end of their life cycles, they’re moved to CORT Outlet to be sold to their forever homes. Buying previously-rented furniture results in a 49% decrease in greenhouse gases compared to buying new — the CORT brands save 386,862 tons of CO2 compared to our competitors who sell furniture new.
Shop CORT Furniture Outlet today to find new and gently-used furniture and decor you can feel good about and cherish for years to come.