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Purchase Consciously

You can reduce your environmental footprint by making smart decisions about what and how much you buy. Here are a few tips for more sustainable shopping.

Reduce purchases

To conserve resources and reduce resource use, the first step is simply to avoid unnecessary purchases. Buy only what you need, avoid excess packaging, and purchase products designed to last rather than items that will quickly end up in the trash.

Reuse products

You can also conserve resources by choosing reusable products over disposable items. For example, carry a water bottle and a reusable bag for shopping, and get discounts on coffee at Norris with a refillable mug. You can also reuse by shopping at thrift shops and second hand stores.

Buy recycled

You can help save energy, conserve resources, and reduce waste by buying products made from recycled materials. Look for products that include recycled content, as well as products that can be recycled.

Shop to save energy

When shopping for electronics or appliances, look for energy efficient options. ENERGY STAR® products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. You can also save energy use by using a smart power strip to automatically power down electronics that aren’t in use. Learn more about energy-saving actions and products on the conserve energy page.

Choose sustainable foods

To reduce the environmental impact of your food purchases, look for local, organically produced foods. Choose sustainably sourced seafood, and cut back on meat consumption. Get more tips for environmentally friendly foods on the eat sustainably page.

Hold the packaging

Reduce waste by avoiding items with excessive packaging. Look for minimal packaging or buy in bulk to cut packaging waste.

Go with green cleaning products

Look for cleaning products that are free from harmful chemicals. The Safer Choice Label identifies products that have been reviewed by U.S. EPA scientists to meet stringent human health and environmental criteria.