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Going Green: Why and How to Shop Sustainably

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

When you do good, you feel good, and there’s no doubt that being able to meet your daily needs while also doing good for the environment is an ultimate do-good-feel-good hack.

The UCLA Sustainability Committee defines sustainability as “the integration of environmental health, social equity and economic vitality in order to create thriving, healthy, diverse and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come. The practice of sustainability recognizes how these issues are interconnected and requires a systems approach and an acknowledgement of complexity.”

Over the past century, we have seen a rise in consumption that’s led to depleted environmental resources, the extinction of animal and plant species, as well as climate change, air pollution, and a decline in the health of our natural resources and reserves.

While this damage has already been done, we can do our part to preserve resources and make the earth a better place for generations to come, and we can do that through being mindful and living sustainably.

So what is sustainable shopping, exactly? While there’s no single definition of sustainable shopping, here’s a are a few recommendations to help you develop your green thumb:

Put away the plastic. One of the primary contributors to waste in our landfills today is plastic. By avoiding plastic packaging, water bottles, and looking for companies who sell their goods in reusable or biodegradable containers instead, you’ll help reduce landfill waste and water pollution.

Buy upcycled goods. Upcycled goods are those that have been repurposed or refurbished for new usage. Not only will purchasing upcycled goods save you a pretty penny, it’ll also help you reduce waste.

"Every new item of clothing made has a substantial carbon footprint attached to its manufacturing, but the amount of new energy needed to produce vintage clothing is zero." -Emma Watson

Try vintage clothing and accessories. If you’re not into upcycling, you can always shop vintage, including vintage luxury. This way, you’re getting the brands and styles that you want, but at a lower cost to both yourself and the environment. Here’s what Emma Watson had to say about sustainable shopping vintage: "Every new item of clothing made has a substantial carbon footprint attached to its manufacturing, but the amount of new energy needed to produce vintage clothing is zero."

Go local. When you buy local you cut down on the demand for shipping. While this may seem small, shipping requires oil/fuel for the vehicle transporting your goods and packaging. When you buy local, you help your local economy and the ecosystem at large.

When shopping for clothes, buy something you’ll wear more than once. While being trendy is always fun, it leads to a huge amount of waste. Instead of riding the wave of the latest trend, consider purchasing statement pieces of high quality that will last a lifetime.

Practice mindfulness when you spend. If you happen to be an impulsive shopper, one way to be more sustainable is to be more consciously aware of the things you’re purchasing. Before buying something, ask yourself whether you really need it, and if so, if there is a more sustainable alternative. Asking these simple questions before purchase something will change your perspective on how you spend and help you be more in touch with the items you buy.

Shop The Cause Mall. The Cause Mall is intentional about bringing on sustainable and eco-friendly brands to make doing the right thing a lot easier for the everyday shopper :)


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