SHOP Responsibly

As we enjoy the last days of summer (where did the time go?!?!?) before school starts up again, thoughts turn to shopping – clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. And believe it or not, the choices you make when you get ready to go back to school can help the planet if you SHOP responsibly.

Consider school supplies – what do you already have around the house? I know that in my house you are never more than 10 feet from a pencil or eraser at any given time. You may have to look for them, but they’re around. Look around your own house. What else can you find? An old binder that you can snazz-up? Spiral notebooks that only have a few used pages (that can, of course, be ripped out) and with a cover you can redecorate? Make it a challenge to see how many things you can find in your house before going to the store!

Now for the clothes. This is a bit harder because most people like new things, kids especially. Yet is there a thrift store near you? Or maybe a consignment store? While there are certainly questionable items in these stores, experience has shown that there are also many treasures to be found. Not only can you save loads of money, but it’s the ultimate in recycling. Also, are there items in your closet you can repair or repurpose?

If you do want to buy new (and this includes school supplies and backpacks), there are few more things to consider when shopping mindfully. Buy items with as little packaging as possible. Shop locally to avoid shipping (which includes both packaging and transportation). And buy items that are good quality because when we buy cheap, these items end up in landfills quickly and we just have to replace them.

The choices you make about consumption really do make a difference. Be mindful, no matter the time of year, and shop responsibly because it’s #YourPlanetToo.