The holidays are here which means more shopping. Buying new things can be a quite fun experience because sometimes, we all need to treat ourselves with a new pair of shoes or that fancy moisturizer that promises to do so much. Still, overspending can cause one to feel depressed in the long run, so being mindful of expenses can significantly improve your quality of life.
Besides, there is a way to shop that can save the planet and help those less fortunate. Living a more ethical and sustainable life can be a great way to bring peace into your life, and get products you’d otherwise ignore. For that reason, here’s a list of tips that will help you be a more conscious and responsible shopper.
Buy from locally-owned brands
It’s easy to get carried away and buy something just because it looks pretty or its price is affordable. So, instead of being impulsive, it’s better to shop carefully and plan your purchases. For example, browse the web for affordable and handmade cosmetic brands that use much better and natural ingredients. Additionally, buying clothes from local designers can contribute a lot to your local economy and help someone keep their business afloat. Even though these products might cost more than the regular ones, keep in mind that there’s a reason they’re more expensive: using more expensive ingredients and building your brand from scratch requires more effort. Therefore, opting for these products and planning your purchases will help you save money in the end.
Consider becoming a minimalist
Being a minimalist doesn’t have to mean you’ll live an ascetic life from now. But, adopting some minimalist tips can surely help you be more productive and less distracted by insignificant items. There are many influencers that can help you get started, and keep in mind that you can always create your own version of minimalism that suits your needs. Living a clutter-free and minimalist life can help you shop less, or at least you’ll want to shop from small businesses and other ethical and cruelty-free brands because their products are often made to last longer which will also reduce your plastic waste.
Reduce the use of plastic
As previously mentioned, minimalism can significantly reduce your plastic usage, especially if there are other alternatives available. But, if you find the minimalism too drastic, you can always try with baby steps and using fewer plastic products is a great way to start. Get reusable shopping bags and if possible, limit your use of plastic straws. Since the majority of products we use are made in Asia, then using less plastic and being more of an ethical shopper can significantly help reduce China pollution especially now when Chinese government is increasing efforts to prevent it. There’s no point in preventing people from less developed countries to get a job and prosper, but finding eco-friendly and sustainable solutions can extremely improve the state of our planet.
Don’t buy things that you don’t need
Owning a lot of clothes, jewelry, gadgets is often considered a good thing because having a lot signifies that one is affluent and able. Still, buying too many clothes, just to impress others isn’t the best way to improve your life, because fast fashion is one of the top reasons why there’s so much pollution around us. Additionally, a lot of gadgets are produced by exploiting the Earth’s most valuable resources, so if possible, always aim to buy things you truly need, rather than buying a lot just to feel good about yourself. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you do it now, but it’s good to know that you can always slow down with your purchases and take some time to actually make a shopping plan that will save you some money eventually.
Thrift stores are the places to be
Some people genuinely dislike second-hand shopping for various reasons: they don’t like the idea of wearing somebody else’s clothes, or they have trouble finding something that suits them. These concerns are valid, but if you too can’t warm up to thrift shopping, it’s time to give it a second chance. First, every time you enter the thrift store, you should do it without big expectations, because then you’ll end up disappointed. Instead, it’s better to go inside just to see the clothes, because then you’ll probably end up finding something chic. Also, whenever you go thrift shopping, arm yourself with patience, because getting that perfect vintage Versace sweater takes some time and effort.
Shopping ethically isn’t a difficult task, but it requires some planning, research, and learning. But, living a more sustainable life will provide you with so much personal growth and other valuable experience. Shopping second hand, buying from small businesses, recycling and using less plastic will help you become more eco-friendly without sacrificing the life you already have.
Written by Lilly Miller
About the Author
Lilly Miller is a Sydney-based graphic designer and a passionate writer. She loves everything about home decor, art history and baking. Shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney.
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