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To buy or not to buy

Landfill © Steve Morgan / WWF UK

As consumers, we can all consciously try to buy less. But we can also make simple changes to our shopping patterns and use our purchasing power to support eco-friendly products, which are less damaging to the environment.

First steps

  • Take reusable bags to do your weekly shop to avoid accumulating mounds of disposable ones
     
  • Buy products with less packaging. You will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
     
  • Choose timber products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) They come from well-managed forests.
     
  • Buy recycled products where possible, such as recycled paper and toilet paper
     
  • Use rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones
     
  • Give unwanted furniture and clothes to a charity shop
     
  • Use biodegradable bin bags
     
  • Don’t upgrade your mobile phone and gadgets every year – wait until they are defunct
     
  • Around 25% of a car's total emissions are produced when making it.  The other 75% of emissions are created when you drive it.  Therefore best practice is to buy a used car (instead of new) with lower emissions thatn the one you currently drive - here's the gen.  Or a new car with very low emissions that you will drive into the ground!
     
Challenge yourself

  • Save £££s on second hand items or give your unwanted stuff a good home by checking out freecycle
     
  • Recycle old mobile phones. Try ShP.
     
  • Buy the most energy efficient electrical appliances you can afford and over the years you will save money on your electricity bill
     
  • Opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products
     
  • Buy second-hand or antique furniture
     
  • As your children grow up, pass on their clothes, prams, cradles and other items to friends and family or donate them to a recycling project
     
  • Use cloth nappies rather than disposables

Couple in field in sunset