Over purchasing creates an artificially high demand for products. This demand is met by using more resources to produce these products. A portion of these products are disposed of as garbage and the resources are lost. Valuable landfill space is used. Future products become more expensive as resources become scarce. Garbage fees increase as landfill space becomes more limited. In the end, all consumers lose.
How Can I Reduce?
There are many ways to reduce the consumption of products. The following are a few tips:
Buy what you need and use what you buy!
Before you go to the store, make a shopping list. Itemize all the products or supplies that you will need to buy. Next, determine how much or how many of each products you need to buy. When you go to the store, buy only items on the list and the quantity you need. Keeping to the list will prevent impulse and over buying.
When you get your purchases home, use them! When the containers are empty, recycle the containers or properly dispose of them in the garbage.
Closing the loop!
Buying products with recycled content and post consumer recycled content
Recycling is a great way to preserve resources. But we need to take the next step: Buying products made with recycled content means that during the manufacturing process, left over material is recycled and returned to the manufacturing process.
Products made with post-consumer recycled content means that products are used by consumers, then turned in for recycling and made into new products.Copy paper, aluminum cans and pop bottles all contain certain quantities of post-consumer recycled content.
When shopping, look for the logo and words -- recycled content and post-consumer recycled content. Here are some examples:
- Fleece jackets made from recycled pop bottles
- Copy paper and envelopes made from recycled paper
- Food packaging
Buy in Bulk
When you buy food in bulk you can use reusable containers to separate the bulk foods into individual serving sizes. This saves on packaging therefore reducing waste.
Many products, including furniture, clothes and tools, last a very long time.Before discarding your used items, consider whether they are still usable. Make a habit of shopping at second hand stores before buying a new product.
For more tips on buying second hand visit the Reuse page.