Green Shopping


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Green Shopping

  1. 1. You can conserve resources, save energy, and prevent waste by buying products that: ■ Are energy efficient ■ Are used or reusable ■ Are made with recycled content or are recyclable ■ Have no packaging or reduced packaging
  2. 2. Everything you buy affects the environment, but some choices are better than others. “Green purchasing” Green purchasing involves learning means buying smart. Shop with the about all the ways that a product can environment in mind—that is, buy affect the environment during the products that help conserve natural course of its “life cycle”—from the resources, save energy, and prevent materials used to manufacture it, to waste. Green purchasing can also how you use it, to what you do with it mean not buying things you don’t when you’re finished with it—so that need. By educating yourself about you can make smart choices. the products you buy, you can make Use the tips and resources in this a difference in protecting the brochure to make yourself an environment. educated consumer. 1
  3. 3. shopping Buy smart. Take some Avoid excess packaging. Look Did you know that time to think before you for products that have less packaging, since your parents buy something—maybe or buy in bulk—you’ll have less to were born, the you don’t really need it. throw away. You can also buy items amount of trash each American generates Maybe you can think of with packaging that can be reused or has doubled?* an alternative to buying a recycled. product, such as renting a Buy used. Buying things that have DVD instead of buying it or sending a been used before means that your pur- free e-card instead of a paper birthday chase doesn’t use more resources or card. Shopping with the environment energy. If the item is still reusable in mind will conserve resources, pre- when you’re through with it, then the vent waste, and save money. next person to use it is not using addi- Buy durable products. Instead tional resources either. You can find of buying disposable products, which authentic retro clothes, room acces- are wasteful, buy things that will last sories, and even sports equipment a long time, such as rechargeable at your local thrift store. Shop batteries and reusable plastic mugs online or at local stores to buy used for drinks. CDs and books. 2
  4. 4. tips Share with friends. Another Buy recycled. way to save resources and energy is to Buying items made swap with friends and family instead of with recycled-content buying brand-new products. Maybe materials means that Did you know you and your friends like the same fewer natural resources, that for every video games. Why not share your such as trees, were 42 notebooks games instead of each of you owning used to produce the made with 100 percent recycled the same game? Or maybe you can products. Products paper, one tree rent the game first to see if you really made from recycled is saved?* want to own it. paper, plastic, and other materials are usually easy to rec- Buy energy-efficient items. ognize in the store—just read the Look for the ENERGY STAR® logo labels. Try starting with school supplies. when buying electronics such as TVs, Many stores carry recycled notebooks, CD players, DVD players, and comput- pens, and other products. ers. ENERGY STAR is a program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products. 3
  5. 5. how do my purchases make a difference? 4
  6. 6. Buying “green” lets compa- Your purchasing choices nies know that you care affect what your parents about the environmental buy. Your parents impact of the products you buy groceries and buy. Why would a big corporation other packaged care what you think? Because your items based on your Did you know that young current and future purchasing power is likes and dislikes, people spend or influence extremely important to them. In fact, and they might even the spending of $300 bil- companies spend $12 billion a year buy a car based on lion a year, or about 1 in marketing their products input from you and 3 dollars spent?* to you.* Shopping your siblings. Your “green” sends a message friends also listen to what you have to to the companies—that say when they decide what to buy. Use Did you know that 67 percent of parents you care about the envi- your influence to help others shop buying a new car base ronment, and you’re not smart and protect the environment. their decision on afraid to use your buying advice from their kids, power to prove it. who are not even old enough to drive?* 5
  7. 7. for more Use the following resources to find more information about how you can make a difference! 1. Act Green—a collabora- 3. “The Cost of Cool”— tion of the Union of Concerned co-produced by the National Scientists and the Environmental Wildlife Federation, Population According to Teen Media Association—promotes Communications International, and People, 62 percent environmental awareness and The Video Project—is a 26-minute of its readers try to positive solutions to young peo- video and curriculum guide pack- use environmentally ple across the country. age expressly designed for teens. It friendly products.* <> includes background information and hands-on activities about con- 2. is sumption, media, and the environ- part of the Be, Live, Buy Different— ment. < Make a Difference campaign, cost_of_cool_exp.html> which is a new national program from the World Wildlife Fund and 4. Ecological Footprint helps the Center for a New American teens and others calculate the Dream. It teaches young people impact their choices have on the how to make a difference by buy- environment. < ing differently. programs/sustainabilityindicators/ ef> 6
  8. 8. information 5. EPA’s Green Advertising Claims brochure contains information about specific terms used to describe products, includ- ing “environmentally friendly,” Buy Green Here “biodegradable,” and “ozone ■ The Solid Waste Agency of friendly.” Northern Cook County’s < Eco-Friendly Marketplace lists companies that sell green non-hw/recycle/greenads.pdf> products, including book bags 6. EPA’s Environmentally made from reclaimed rubber inner tubes, hats and mittens made from Preferable Purchasing recycled sweaters, belts and jewelry program Web site—while made from bottle caps, and purses mainly designed for government made from old license plates and workers—contains great green hubcaps. <> purchasing resources and links. ■ Co-op America’s Green <> Pages OnlineTM is a directory of green companies that are 7. ENERGY STAR® is a program committed to social and environ- designed to identify and promote mental responsibility. energy-efficient products. <> <> 7
  9. 9. Take the Resource Conservation Challenge! EPA’s Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) calls on all Americans to prevent pollution, promote recycling and reuse, and conserve energy and materials. Achieving these goals means adopting a resource conserva- tion ethic, purchasing more wisely, and using products that are easy to recycle and are made of recycled materials. For more information, visit <>. 8
  10. 10. *This information is cited on <>. Special thanks to this joint program of the Center for a New American Dream and the World Wildlife Fund for contributing valuable information to this booklet.
  11. 11. 1EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency (5305W) Washington, DC 20460 EPA530-K-04-003 April 2004 2 Recycled/Recyclable--Printed with vegetable oil based inks on 100% (minimum 50% postconsumer) recycled paper.