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Sustainability Show 2022

20 Apr 2022

The Impact our Shopping Habits have on the Earth

The Impact our Shopping Habits have on the Earth
Hyperconsumerism, panic buying, and the pursuit of overwhelming convenience have turned people into waste-generating machines. Instead of using products until they are well and truly worn out, we opt for the next best thing as soon as it becomes available, constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses with the latest new gadget.

While the pandemic has brought about a change in mindset for many - our natural world is failing due to our consumption habits and lack of empathy for mother earth. Daily the average person is exposed to approximately 5,000 ads persuading us that if we buy this season's fashion or the next best smartphone our lives will magically be better. However, there are very few people that think about the impact their shopping habits have on the earth - so let's break a few of them down for you. 


Returned clothes often end in landfill

As customers, we have gotten used to convenience because of the number of options available to us. We can shop for items without ever physically seeing them, returning them without a second thought when our products don't meet expectations - trusting the companies will resell these units. However reach shows that many companies offer free returns at the expense of the environment, with up to 20% of returns ending up in landfills simply because they are not resellable. Returned items also generated double the amount of transport emissions and generate more plastic packaging for the next consumer to open a pristine package. Instead of shopping online or making impulse buys, do your research and make sure the product is 100% suited to your needs before purchase. 


Buying into greenwashing

When it sounds too good to be true - it often is. As more and more consumers look for sustainable options, other brands have started to exaggerate their sustainability by using trending greenwashing words and phrases that have no set definition such as “green”, “responsibly made”, or “ethical”. This lulls us into a false sense of comfit, as we think by purchasing items from this so-called sustainable brand we are doing our part to save the world. In reality, we are contributing to the endless waste of the fashion industry. Before you buy do your research, or better yet opt for a secondhand item that will actually help you to reduce your waste and carbon footprint.


Using single-use plastic

Disposable plastic items are not biodegradable, instead, they break down into microplastics that have devastating effects on our natural environment. We produce 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, half of which is for single-use items. With only 9% of plastic waste getting recycled we are leaving thousands of tons of plastic waste to contaminate our oceans, rivers, grasslands, and cities. With hundreds of alternative products that are way better for you and the environment, it's time to ditch single-use plastic altogether and stick to reusable options that don't put such a strain on our natural resources. 


Find out how to develop healthier and more sustainable consumption habits at The Sustainability Show!


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