Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22, which means now is as good a time as ever to brush up on your earth-friendly ways. Going green isn’t always easy, but there are little things you can do over time to continuously help our planet, including shopping. But, when it comes to your regular purchases, it can be difficult to know what is actually eco-friendly and what is a sales attempt. Making smart purchases does not need to be difficult or take a lot of time. Here is how you can easily shop for eco-friendly products:
How to Shop for Eco-Friendly Products
Shopping green is not the same as shopping smarter. Some products do not live up to the title and cost you more. Here’s what to look out for:
- Biodegradable is not always the way to go. Just because an item is described as biodegradable does not mean it will work. They actually need to be composted and do not work in landfills. So, unless you live near a compost or have one, you should not purchase biodegradable products. Instead, look for reusable items.
- Research “natural” and “organic” products. Labels and companies can be deceiving, and some will go as far to completely lie, as was the case with this company in Atlanta, Georgia. Items that are truly organic will include the official seal from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Natural Products Association, or the BDIH stamp. These marks indicate that the products have met the criteria to be considered natural or organic. While natural is not the same as organic, natural products are still minimally processed and better for our Earth than many other substances we produce. Anything that claims to be but is not is not worth spending the extra money on.
- Hybrid cars can be our best friend. for the most part, nature loves hybrid vehicles. Plus, the government gives you a tax break for having a hybrid; that is, depending on the car battery size along with make, model, and year. However, don’t just go out and buy a hybrid for the tax credit. What you could do, though, is purchase a used hybrid or put the money toward your current car. Tune-ups do wonders for your gas mileage, which, in turn, helps the environment. Not to mention, when it comes to car shopping in general, look for the smaller vehicles with the best gas mileage. Mother nature likes these the best.
- Reuse plastic and paper bags. As great as the reusable cloth bags are, you should also try to remember to reuse your plastic and paper bags as well. This not only saves you money but is a great way recycle as well.
- BPA-free plastics may not be what they’re cracked up to be. Don’t waste your time with BPA-free plastics. You won’t know for sure if the plastic products contain the chemicals. Skip them all together. Use glass or lead-free ceramic containers instead.
Now that you have an idea of how to shop for eco-friendly products, you can test it out for yourself. Just remember to look for the seal of approval for natural and organic, reuse items as much as possible, and resist buying items just because of their “eco-friendly” claim.
What would you add to the list?
Jenn Clark is a writer, PR specialist, entrepreneur, blogger and coffee enthusiast. A lover of laughter, traveling and cheese, she’s written about her life experiences here at suburbanfinance while at the same time growing other young professionals. You can find more of her work at Jennblogs.co.