Green Shopping

​When we shop we try not to hurt our wallets too much, but why not also treat the environment right? It’s a big help to global conservation efforts, and it might be easier than resisting the temptation of a sale!

Shop smart: buy reusable and long-lasting items

When you go to the store, bring reusable bags. They're easier to carry, the handles don’t dig into your hands, and they hold two to three times as much as a plastic bag. If you do use plastic bags, here are some ways to get creative with them.
Buy products that won’t go directly to the garbage can after a few uses. Think rechargeable batteries, cutting-edge light bulbs, cloth diapers, real plates and cups. Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper. Bulk sizes will save you trips to the store and save packaging from your trash.
National Geographic has handy buying guides to sustainable shopping for everything from footwear to playground equipment, from laptops to lawn mowers. Martha Stewart has a sustainable shopping guide, and Consumer Reports scores many items for efficiency and power savings, but readers must subscribe to view individual listings.

Green fashion? You bet!

Eco-friendly fashion lines are going strong. Stella McCartney has a great interview explaining why she cares about bringing sustainability to fashion, and why we all should too. You don’t have to afford her clothes to appreciate her thoughts!
Here’s a great resource which can help you find a haute look that doesn’t heat the planet. H&M, which already accepts unwanted clothing and donates it to charity, is rolling out a Conscious Collection made of recycled material.

Smart design and décor

Two terrific online stores for creative housewares are Bambeco and Branch, both of which feature sustainable products and seductive designs.

Buy energy-efficient appliances

Look for the Energy Star label to find products officially recognized for energy efficiency by the US Department of Energy. The Energy Star website can help you find efficient products or create strategies for savings.

Buy goods made from recycled products

Buying recycled products stimulates markets for recyclable materials and provides incentive for manufacturers to use more recyclables in production, which in turn reduces our dependence on natural resources.
Some candidates are obvious—shoes, tires, paper—but there’s more. Believe it or not, many recycled items make great gifts. You can also find cool recycled gift ideas by looking for the green logos in the catalog of Uncommon Goods.