Personal Purchases and Shopping

Energy
Purchases
Social
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Waste
Water

I utilize reusable bags whenever shopping.

Using reusable bags when going grocery shopping is a great way to lower the demand for plastic shopping bags. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, anything from insulated bags to string bags and lots with different fun designs. Pick up your own designer reusable bag and shop in style. Your reusable bag can lower the production of plastic bags which require petroleum and natural gas, both non-renewable resources. This will also keep all of these bags out of the landfill. If you find that you don't have your reusable bag, make sure to always recycle your plastic bags!

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I purchase only paper with post-consumer recycled content.

Post-consumer recycled content paper is paper that has been used and recycled into new paper. Using paper with high post-consumer recycling content, you can increase the market for old papers and other recyclables. This little act can help save lots of trees from destruction.

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I buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging.

If you consume certain products more often than others, buy larger containers of it. While bigger isn't always better, buying in bulk gives you the best product-to-package ratio. This not only reduces waste (from having to throw out empty containers) but it will also likely save you money.

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I look for second hand options, like Goodwill or thrift stores, before purchasing clothing and room furnishings such as storage units, chairs, and appliances.

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I purchase fair trade and organic coffee and tea.

This will not only support the local economy, but it gives you a chance to test out new beverages. Fair trade beverages do not harm the environment or the lives of other people.

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I purchase organic food and try to eat foods that are in season as often as possible.

Try to reduce your consumption of animal products. Cheese and meat have a high carbon footprint. If possible, buy local food. Eat in season or buy local food. This will not only support the local economy, but it gives you a chance to test out new dishes. It takes less energy to transport food from a local farm to your dinner table than it does to import food from overseas.

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I avoid purchasing products that are in aerosol cans. If they are not emptied completely, they can become hazardous waste and are difficult to recycle.

Aerosol cans may be considered a hazardous waste when disposed of, especially when they are thrown in the garbage. If aerosol cans are thrown into landfills, they become a hazard. Not only may they catch on fire, but they may explode and cause physical harm to landfill workers and firefighters.

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I have purchased a green plant to help with the air quality in my room.

Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors! Studies have shown that indoors air can have higher levels of pollutants than outdoors. Poor indoor air quality can lead to headaches, irritation of your eyes, nose and throats, fatigue and nausea. Not only can indoor air quality impact your health, improved air quality can also result in higher productivity according to an RPA Report to Congress.

There are over 50 different houseplants that effectively remove indoor air pollutants, keeping you healthier and your room smelling fresh. Just one plant can help clean the air in your room and the addition of more plants will increase the rate of pollutant removal.

Areca Palm
Areca Palm

Australian Sword Fern
Australian Sword Fern

Boston Fern
Boston Fern

Dwarf Date Palm
Dwarf Date Palm

Elephant Ear Philodendron
Elephant Ear Philodendron

English Ivy
englishivy

Janet Craig Dracaena
Janet Craig Dracaena

Lacy Tree Philodendron
Lacy Tree Philodendron

Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Mother-in-Law's Tongue

Orchid
Orchid

Peace Lily
Peace Lily

Reed Palm
Reed Palm

Rubber Plant
Rubber Plant

Spider Plant
Spider Plant

 


I try to find environmentally preferred products such as Green Seal or Green Guard certified.

Green Seal has made it possible for companies to communicate sustainability and for customers to be able to identify products that are healthier and greener. Green Seal certification ensures that a product meets rigorous, science-based leadership standards. This gives manufacturers the assurance to market their products as green and customer's confidence that they are buying environmentally friendly products.

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I avoid purchasing commercial air fresheners, such as Lysol and Febreze, and instead use natural remedies to keep my room smelling fresh.

Spray and plug-in air fresheners release chemicals into the air, and companies are not required to reveal what chemicals are in their products. Independent studies have found phthalates (a hormone disrupting chemical) and volatile organic compounds (a probable carcinogen and air pollutant) in the majority of air freshener brands. Avoiding them is good for your health and the environment. To keep your room smelling fresh make sure you take your trash out regularly, open windows and put baking soda in the bottom of your trash can to absorb orders.

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I purchase green cleaning supplies.

Most of the conventional cleaning products we are all used to are petroleum-based and have health and environmental implications. Instead of opting for these harmful cleaning products, try other more environmentally friendly cleaning products. Look for products that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources. If this doesn't work for you try using vinegar and baking soda, by mixing either of them with a little warm water, you will have an all-purpose cleaner. Avoid using antibacterial cleaners. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleaners do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided.

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I utilize websites such as EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Database and Good Guide to ensure that the products I buy and the companies that produce them are environmentally friendly.

Personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, and makeup may contain harmful chemicals. I purchase only organic and natural personal care products.

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I purchase fair trade products, beyond coffee and tea, as often as possible.

Fair trade is a social movement that aims to help producers in developing countries in hopes to create better trading conditions and promote sustainability. You can do your part by frequently purchasing fair trade products.

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When purchasing room furnishings I try to buy products made from recycled materials and low VOC finishes.

If you buy furniture to bring to your room, look for products that contain rapidly renewable resources (like bamboo and cork), recycled material (plastic, metal) and have low VOC finishes. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are gases that are emitted from furniture made from particle board or pressed wood. Some health effects of VOCs may include eye, nose and throat irritation, and headaches. Products labeled Green Seal are all low VOC and you can consult the EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Database to find out more.

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