Daily habits for purchasing and services

  • Shop with reusable canvas bags – they are bigger, stronger, and reusable.
  • Buy locally grown food and produce to reduce on pollution caused by transporting food over long distances.
    • Food normally travels an average of 1,500 to 2,500 miles from farm to dinner table in the United States.1
  • Buy organic food to protect water resources, habitat quality and your own health.
  • Reduce the amount of meat and animal products in your diet.
    • Producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein.
    • According to Newsweek, the water required to raise a 1,000-pound steer would float a destroyer.
  • Buy paper products with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content possible.
  • Buy nontoxic cleaners for the home.
  • Buy vegetable-based laundry detergent rather than conventional, petroleum-based products.
  • Avoid detergents with optical brighteners (artificial whiteners) that do not decompose and are toxic to aquatic life.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Choose products with less packaging.
  • Buy chlorine-free diapers and feminine products.
  • Avoid dry cleaning or choose establishments that use environmentally sound cleaning methods.
  • Purchase rechargeable batteries.
    • Batteries often contain heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium or lead, which are on the EPA's list of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs) and are targeted as priority substances for waste minimization. Batteries make up a disproportionate amount of the toxic heavy metals contained in landfills even though they make up less than 1% of solid waste.
  • Purchase carbon credits that will fund renewable energy or tree planting initiatives to offset the carbon produced by car or air travel and home energy use.  Learn more at www.carbonfund.org.
    • According to Carbonfund.org, the “carbon footprint” of the average American can be offset for as little as $99 per year.