When we think of sustainability, we can’t help but imagine the great lengths people go to protect the environment. Some have gone completely vegan, while others have totally opted out of driving to work and instead cycle or take public transportation. These are big life changes, and oftentimes busy moms have too much on their plate to worry about changing their daily habits.
I can tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case! Little steps do add up. In this article, we’ll take a look at 4 simple steps moms can take to do their part in sustainable shopping.
Be conscious about fashion
Who says being an eco shopper means you have to ditch your inner fashionista? As the sustainable clothing movement is bigger than ever, particularly when it comes to hiring clothing, your options are everywhere. Having a nice night out with the girls and want to dress the part? Why not rent an outfit instead of buying it for one-time use? This way, you can feel good about partaking in the circular economy (and look good, too!).
Do you know who else can partake in the circular fashion economy? Babies! Children grow really fast during their first two years. On average, they outgrow their clothes every two to three months. Besides buying pre-owned, there are subscription services that deliver your little one’s clothes to your doorstep. Once he or she outgrows them, you’re responsible for returning them to the provider in exchange for a size upgrade.
Bring your own bag
Let’s admit it, mom’s do a lot of grocery shopping! And the easiest sustainable habit you can get into is to bring your own shopping bags. As most retailers charge you for plastic bags nowadays, you’re also saving money on top of reducing single-use plastic waste. If you are feeling ambitious, buy loose fruit and vegetables, rather than those that come pre-packed and washed. This can reduce your plastic footprint tremendously in the long term.
Getting into this habit can be tricky. And sometimes, we go to the stores on a whim. A good tip is to always have grocery bags in your car or a small foldable one in your handbag. This way, you’re always prepared!
Reuse what you can
In the 21st century, it’s almost impossible to avoid plastic altogether. In situations where we can’t avoid it, reuse it! I used to receive plenty of plastic takeaway containers when we weren’t allowed to dine-in during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Instead of throwing them away right after, I found multiple ways of reusing them. They are now storage containers for my skincare products, stationery organizer, and I even plan to use them for planting some herbs this summer!
I also found them useful when I head to the butcher. Instead of having them place the meat in plastic bags, I would have them chopped into bite-sized pieces how I like them and kept in the reused containers straight away. It’s an efficient method of keeping your fridge organized too!
Support sustainable/ethical options
Wherever you are in the world, always research what’s local and seasonal. For example, avocados are healthy and have become the trendy millennial favorite in the West. However, as they are mostly grown in Central America, you need to start questioning their carbon footprint as they make their way across the oceans. The same can be said for day-to-day products such as skincare and clothes!
As a general rule of thumb: The closer to you it is manufactured or grown, the less the carbon footprint it emits. Going to farmer’s markets on the weekends is a great way to learn about how your fruits and veggies are grown, and you should be able to inquire which are organic. You’re not only eating healthy but supporting your local community as well!