16 Green Ways to Buy and Dispose of Your Stuff

Taiga Company    Yobo Member
September 1st, 2011

Credit: Tomasz Sienicki/WikiMedia

By Julie Urlaub

image: reduce wasteThe business world is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve its supply chain management processes.  Leading companies are reaping the benefits from applying sustainability concepts to the acquisition of their goods and services.  As an individual seeking a more sustainable lifestyle, what can we learn from these corporate purchasing efforts? To begin, a primary aspect of pursuing a personal sustainability plan is the recognition that every action is part of a larger whole.  The purchases you make not only affect you and your family, but they also affect an entire supply chain that brought that item to market. As a consumer, how is your lifestyle promoting the green movement?  Are you purchasing and disposing of your consumables responsibly?  Following are 8 tips to enhance eco awareness for the eco-conscious shopper.

  1. A comprehensive tool that provides reliable sources of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products is the GoodGuide.
  2. Research before you buy.  For larger more infrequent items, set aside time to research your options.  Evaluate products on the full lifecycle.  How much energy was used in producing the product?   What is the energy consumption of your intended use?  How it will be discarded later? Compare products with eco awareness in mind.
  3. Buy local and buy in bulk.  Supporting local businesses eliminates the need for products to be transported far distances.
  4. Buy organic.  Purchasing merchandise certified with organic labeling is another way to bring eco awareness to your lifestyle.   Buying organic means less pesticides in our ground water and better health for your family.
  5. Buy Fair Trade.  Buying Fair Trade helps to end abuses such as child and slave labor.
  6. Buy products from sustainable sources like bamboo.  Purchase products not tested on animals, made from renewable sources and packaged with recyclable and minimal packaging.
  7. Electronic purchases: Consider buying “Pre-Owned” goods.  Purchasing previously owned products is a great way to implement the sustainability concept of recycling.  Ebay and Craig’s list are two good sources.  Also ask your electronics store about recycling options for older models.
  8. Speak up!  Manufacturers are listening! Use social media to connect with business to communicate your preferences and experiences.  Consumers are the biggest drivers of sustainability changes.

Resources offered in our eco friendly training classes include some of the following:

  1. I Recycle. You Recycle. We all Recycle.
  2. Reduce Waste for a Sustainable Lifestyle
  3. Sustainability Needs Educated Consumers
  4. Sharing and Re-Use: Is it the Same Thing?
  5. Buy Local: One Way to Walk your Green Talk
  6. Why Buying Recycled Matters
  7. Buy or Barter? Best Trading Websites
  8. E-Waste: Responsible Disposal Options

This story originally appeared at the Taiga Company Blog

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