Guest Post: Tips for Smarter Green Shopping
Going green doesn’t have to mean less green in your wallet. At least, that’s what you’re going to hear on hundreds of blogs. But what is the truth about the financial cost of buying green, environmentally safe products? Green roofing materials, sustainable cleaners, and fuel-efficient automobiles may all cost you a bit more, but in the long run, the money you save on your health and supporting organic markets will add up. Here are some tips for how to shop green while saving money:
*Even if you don’t like the color, wear ‘green’. When shopping for clothing, make sure you go with organic cotton, which is free of pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
*Don’t clean dirty. Buy cleaning products that have been certified by the EPA to have less volatile organic compounds and toxic chemicals. This cuts down on Co2 emissions and protects soils and groundwater. Mother Nature and Shop Natural are good options for environmentally friending cleaning supplies that don’t require animal testing, phosphates, or petroleum.
*Even a microwave can be ethical. Only buy household appliances that follow the energy guidelines set forth by the Energy Star initiative. This agency was created by the EPA in order to foster more sustainable energy production and manufacturing of popular appliances.
*Wood is good. Only buy furniture that has been certified by the International Forest Stewardship Alliance, which works to improve resource allocation among lumber companies. In other words, you want to support furniture manufacturers whose suppliers are aware of deforestation and work to prevent over-harvesting.
*Keep it local…or at least organic. When shopping for food, check out Safeway’s O brand and Whole Foods 365 products, inexpensive organics for the whole family. Also, be on the lookout for farmer’s markets, where you can buy green while supporting your local farmers.
*Don’t forget the beans. Organic beans are only twenty to thirty cents more expensive than regular beans and are rich with protein, vitamins, and minerals. There are dozens of varieties of legumes and they nourish the body in countless ways.
No one person alone can save the world from global warming, pollution, and deforestation, but small, practical choices made everyday by millions of people add up to create big changes. We are reaching a point of zeitgeist, in which popular culture is embracing green, organic lifestyles. Now is the time to join this movement and rejoice in giving back to the Earth that sustains us. It doesn’t have to break your wallet, and it will greatly improve your life.