The theme of November and December is being conscious of your shopping choices! The end of the year is filled with holidays and gatherings, and many of us prepare for this time by buying gifts for our friends and family. Many businesses encourage this with sales, especially during the black Friday weekend. With all the shopping that will take place soon, this is a good time to remember the choices we consumers have, both in what we buy and where we buy it. Take a look at the challenges below for ideas on how to be more aware of your shopping.

  • Look at where you buy
    • Research the environmental impact of the companies you frequently shop from, and if they are doing anything to reduce that impact.
    • Check out local businesses, especially if their products are from local sources rather than being shipped in.
    • See if you can find out what charities/organizations your frequented businesses donate to. Many times businesses quietly support multiple organizations, and it is good to see where your money goes.
  • Look at what you buy 
    • Are the products you buy from local sources or are they shipped in from somewhere else? See if you can find local alternatives for these products
    • Check out the brands you use. There are usually many different brands offering the same type of product, so consumers like us can choose products made with more environmentally sustainable practices.
    • When looking for gifts for friends or relatives that you don’t know much about, look into products that can be used up such as food, soaps, or candles. Consumable products are more likely to be used even if the person doesn’t love it, rather than thrown away.
  • Ask if you need to buy
    • Try to be conscious of which purchases are things you really need/want, and which are impulse decisions. Those impulse buys are more likely to be unused or thrown away.
    • If you have the time, try to make things yourself. Gifts can seem more special if they are made by the gift-giver themselves.
    • Do not justify purchases with sales. If you never wanted or used a product before it was on sale, you will probably not use it even if you buy it for a cheaper price.


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