Useful Shopping Hacks To Help You Save Your Money And The Planet

Whatever socio-economic system you happen to live in, shopping is something all of us have to do sometimes. It has also become quite a political act, as a vicious spiral of globalized consumerism has turning this seemingly everyday task of going to the store to get groceries or new clothes into a conversation of the highest importance regarding sustainability and our footprint on the planet. 

Are the prices right? Who is getting their fair share of the money? How is this product affecting the ecosystem? All of these questions are very hard to answer and few can agree on what is right. Luckily, one of the advantages of a globalized society means people can share information more easily than ever, and from this multitude of collective knowledge, we have put together a few useful ways that can help each of us do our part in reducing our own emissions and being mindful of the environment, while also being mindful of our bank account.

Caveat Emptor aka, “Buyer Beware!”

The sad truth in this matter is that, at the end of the line, it is the final consumer, the customer, who has to pay special attention that they are not swindled in any way. This has been known for ages, so much that there is a Latin proverb that describes it. Various government and commercial mechanisms exist to help solve unjust transactions and unfair business, but if someone is ready to pay – another person is ready to sell. 

One major hack that is beginning to gain popularity is knowing how supermarkets place certain items on the shelves to maximize profit. Usually, the most expensive items (or the ones they have the most profit on) are placed at normal viewing height so they attract the most attention. Small candy and toys are lower so children will see them and ask for them, while the most budget-friendly items will be on the lowest or highest shelf, where they are harder to notice. 

Eco-Friendly Fashion

Something that also requires your attention is the clothing you wear. How often do you buy new clothes? How much do you wear those you already have? You may have asked yourself what is fast fashion because many people contribute to this phenomenon. 

One of the largest industries in the world, up there with the gas and food industries, the fashion industry is responsible for consuming vast quantities of water for growing cotton, as well as keeping many people in slave-like conditions to cut the cost of production. And excessive buying and throwing away of clothes is keeping this very much alive, and very much a major cause of pollution.

Consider buying clothes that are locally made, or at least that is of higher quality so that they won’t be discarded as quickly as something else. 

Carbon Footprint

The whole “carbon footprint” concept became relevant during the ’90s and has not lost popularity since. This tool, which is designed to calculate how many CO2 emissions a certain product or service generates, is essential in determining the impact it has on nature. 

Since people have become conscious of the matter – paying higher prices for eco-friendly products became normal. Though even that is slowly changing, as countries slowly introduce a “carbon tax” it drives the price of dirty products up. It’s a double-edged sword – supporting a dirty line of production now because it’s cheap is going to cost you more later on. This brings up the question of location and sustainability. 

Locally sourced ingredients and products have the benefit of not only having less of a carbon footprint because of less transportation, but they should also require less protective packaging and come to your door quicker when they don’t have to pass customs. Driving hundreds of miles per year just to go grocery shopping is also something that should be avoided – instead of going to a big shopping mall just because of the experience, buy locally and save both time and gas.

All of this applies to other aspects of spending money, like traveling on holidays, though a few things are exceptions. Some services can be acquired through the internet from anywhere in the world – in which case the market is huge and whoever offers the best conditions should be chosen. 

With all due respect to those who want to export their produce to foreign markets – it is best for the planet if only those products that cannot be obtained in those places are exported. Aside from that, the favorable option, for both pocket and planet, is shopping locally and searching first whether something is both ethical and eco-friendly. 

There is only one planet for us, and taking care of it should be one of our priorities, even if it means spending a bit more. Though, as shown, it can work out both ways if you pay attention and find ways to optimize your experience.

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