Every time you hit the ‘buy’ button, there’s an environmental impact. So when the peak holiday season sales roll around (yes, we’re talking about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day!), ask these questions to keep your sustainability values in check.
First of all, what does shopping sustainably really mean? Sustainable shopping means shopping mindfully and in a way that reduces the impact on the environment. That could look like buying less, buying second hand or not buying at all!
Here are the five questions we’ll be asking before we add to cart this festive season.
1. Do I really need this?
When your inbox is bombarded with marketing messages from brands, it’s easy to get swept up in the frenzy. Keep a list of things you actually need for yourself or your family.
When a promotional email lands, you can consciously buy the things on your list that you truly want (and happily hit delete if they're not on the list!). And remember, the most sustainable choice you can make is to not buy at all.
2. What is it made of?
There's no doubt about it, materials matter. Certain fabrics do more harm than good when it comes to people, the planet, and your baby's health. Unfortunately, many mainstream baby products are full of virgin plastic.
Manufacturers love plastic because it's strong, cheap and versatile, but it takes 700 years to break down! And while plastic can be recycled, a massive amount of it still ends up in landfills or oceans daily.
Recycled plastic (rPET) is one solution to manage the plastic pollution problem. It uses what has already been created and repurposes it into other things—like our nappies and accessories! rPET also uses up to 50% less energy than making virgin plastic for a lower carbon footprint too.
3. Is it cheap? If so, think twice!
While low prices can be alluring (everyone loves a bargain), they often come at a high cost to people and the planet. The entire supply chain may include a number of people and processes, for example there are farmers who grow raw materials, machinists who manufacture items, the miles the product is shipped, and the printers who produce the packaging. If something is too "cheap", it's often a clue that the item wasn't sustainably or ethically made.
4. Is it single use?
We all know that single-use plastic items (like disposable nappies, wipes, plastic bags, and sanitary products) do more environmental harm than good. So seek out an alternative. Biodegradable options (like Ecoriginals plant-based nappies and wipes) or reusable alternatives will significantly reduce your plastic pollution footprint.
5. Does the brand really act sustainably?
Any environmentally-conscious brand will share its goals and actions loud and proud (check out our sustainability page here as an example). That's because they're taking steps towards a more sustainable future. Avoid buying from brands that gloss over the details or only share generic broad-stroke environmental statements (they might be greenwashing!).
We hope this helps you stay on track for a sustainable holiday season! If you’re ready to start building your festive season shopping list, pop over to our blog on thoughtful (and sustainable) gifts for mum and baby here to get the ideas flowing.