Shopping

Sustainability starts with you — and your purchases. See how you can consider the environment next time you shop for clothing, household items, crafts, or electronics.

Stacks of shipping boxes

Listen

"Thrift Store" (feat. Wang)
by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

 

Read

Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too
by Beth Terry

 

Watch

"The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion"
from Patriot Act with Hasan Minaj

 

 

Shopping for non-food products can actually be quite similar to shopping for food. Some eco-friendly labels can apply to both types of products, such as Fair Trade and Organic. The biggest issue with manufactured products is where they come from (i.e., the working and environmental conditions associated with their production), the amount of energy used to make them, the emissions generated getting them to you, and how long the item can serve its purpose. The best way to manage your carbon footprint when shopping is by asking yourself these questions:

  • Where was this item made and transported from?

  • How was it produced?

  • Do I need to buy this item new, or at all?

  • How long will this item last?

A lot of popular clothing stores ship in their products from other countries where the clothes have been made in bulk and as cheaply as possible so they can be sold at those "what a steal" prices. Try venturing away from this system with the following options:

  • Find unique clothes that give back at local Tucson establishments, such as Fed by Threads.

    • This store's U.S.-made clothing means it is not shipped as far, reducing its emission deposit into our atmosphere, while supporting our country's businesses.

  • Thrift stores also house great finds for very low prices.

    • Reduce manufacturing emissions and avoid the disposal of perfectly good items into our landfills.

    • Check out the multitude of second-hand store options in Tucson.

  • Reduce your online shopping! The packaging of individually shipped products has a huge impact on the environment, not to mention the great distances many products are traveling before they reach your doorstep. 

  • Don't forget that these tips apply to more than just clothing, but household items, books, electronics, craft supplies... anything you might need to buy!

  • Shop locally from the comfort of your home with Craigslist, FreeCycle, OfferUp, and Tucson's Free and For Sale page

Trust your judgment and make the choices you are comfortable making to help your community and your planet through your purchases.