28 February 2020

Getting Started - A Post for Newbies



Getting started can be confusing. Where do you begin? There seems to be a lot of ‘environmentally-friendly’ products on the market, from a range of companies, each with their own agenda. And, while some are genuinely invested in the production of quality goods for the benefit of the environment, it is important to learn which companies are creating these products to follow a ‘trend’ or for financial gain. 

Do you really need it?
The most sustainable item is the one you already have. Right? Now, read that again. I want this to be at the forefront of your mind, every time you make a purchase.

Have a think about what you’re using at the moment. Maybe there’s something you already have that serves this purpose. Often, there is no need to buy a product. In fact, I’d say more often than not, we’re convinced we need the newest ‘eco’ product when we actually have something that we could use, or fix, or make. As an example, let’s take the reusable straw. Chances are, you don’t really need a straw. In fact, the edge of the glass still works perfectly fine, yet you find yourself adding beautiful stainless steel straws to your online shopping cart, in an attempt to be more sustainable. 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I certainly have, and they are great for smoothies and milkshakes, and also for showing the bartender when the club music is too loud for them to hear you say “no plastic straw please!” But, if you can drink from the edge of the cup, and save yourself some money, please consider that as an option, too. 

Quality over Quantity
If you’ve been following accounts on social media that use hashtags about sustainably, you might notice related sponsored posts that pop up in your feed. Some of these seem too good to be true. $10 for a bundle with all of these ‘eco-friendly products plus free shipping if I buy now? Where do I sign? Wait, a second. How could this be so cheap? Where are these items made? If you’re seeing an offer that is unbelievably cheap, I want to remind you that you usually do get what you pay for. Cheap items are usually cheaply made. And that’s before we even consider who made these items, what kind of working conditions they have, and what values the company has. As the consumer, you have the option to shop around. I encourage you to take advantage of that so that you’re not purchasing replacement items in two month’s time. 

Reputable Brand
A trustworthy brand will be one that has a strong mission statement and values that align with yours. It should be quite easy to access this on their website. You might also like to know where they manufacture products and learn a little more about who you’re supporting. If this isn’t information they provide, I’d reach out and send them an email with any questions I have.

Once you’ve found an item that you believe checks out, do your research. What are other people saying about this product or brand? You wouldn’t buy a large appliance without checking online reviews first, so treat all purchases the same way. We’re talking about spending your hard-earned money. You deserve to know what you’re buying and what you can expect from it. More often than not, online reviews will help answer questions you didn’t even know you had!

The eco-industry is booming, and since we have access to so much, it’s important to know what you want and where your money is going. So shop smart, and consider all your options before checking-out.

Yours in all things sustainable, 

2 comments

  1. Keeping your kitchen green is not only good for the environment but also healthy. Guidelines for buying new eco friendly products are very helpful when buying new products for the kitchen. Our kitchen is full of many appliances that can be replaced with energy-efficient ones, and also many disposable, non-degradable products that can be replaced by durable and reusable alternatives.

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