Like many of you, I’m an active urban millennial. I work +40 hours per week and most of the time I finish my day too tired to do much. Having an intense-wanna-do-everything-but-lack-the-energy-and-time-to-act type of person, I decided to gradually switch to a greener eco-friendly lifestyle. I reduce my waste at my own paste: slowly but surely.
There’s no small step when you’re doing the right thing.
I’m not making everything myself (yet) but I still want to be mindful when selecting my products at the store. But it can get very tricky to select the right products. Marketing has invading our grocery stores in such a way that it gets very difficult to know what is good, and what is not. What is eco-friendly and what is pure marketing garbage.
Here are a few tips to help you select the best product:
– Go to the Farmer’s Market
Avoid big stores as much as you can and switch to farmers market. Your products will be local, with less packaging and the shot distribution funnel will save you a fair amount of money.
Forget the labels “natural”, and so forth, these are pure marketing blablah. Look up the list of ingredients, weather it’s culinary or house products, you want to make sure you’re capable of pronouncing all the ingredients in it. Here’s a list of labels that you can trust. The USDA page detailing how businesses can use the Organic Labelling. Finally check out Greener Choices, a great website, specialized in testing labels and their products.
Beyond what’s in it, you also want to make sure your product is manufactured and distributed with the same greener care. Look for less packaging or recyclable ones. It will take you a little more time but once you’re done with it, you’ll feel good about your upcoming purchases.
– Lifetime of your product
The final key element of an eco-friendly product is how long you’ll be able to use it. My grand mother (a poor Italian immigrant) use to say “I’m not rich enough to buy cheap.” These words will always stay in my mind especially in our modern era in which companies make sure to sell poorly made clothes, furnitures, tech products so we can buy more, more often. Too many times have I bought shirts that I needed to toss after 2 washes because the fabric was shrinking fast. I advise you to make some research, seek for Fair Trade brands or natural fabric (I mostly now go in second hand stores, cheaper and often better quality that in regular, inexpensive chain stores I use to go to) when it comes to clothes, and look up reviews online to make your selection.
If you have tips, or seen new eco-friendly brands and labels, or came up with alternative ways to make your selection in your locals store, write it in the comment section!