Change your shopping habits

The way we spend our money can help to change the world. The rise in disposable products, shopping and consumerism has had a huge impact on the environment, mainly due to the waste it generates. Much of this waste is unnecessary and can be avoided if we’re more careful with our buying habits.

Next time you go to buy something, stop to think whether it’s really necessary. Do you really need it? Do you already have one or can you fix a broken one? Sometimes it feels better to own fewer items that mean a lot to you than lots of belongings that turn into clutter.

Re-using everyday items such as carrier bags and coffee cups is very much the norm now, and every time we choose to do this we’re reducing the need for additional items. Is there anything else you tend to buy that you can replace with something reusable?

It’s also worth learning how to repair items or finding out where you can take things to be repaired. This will often save you money as well as the need to buy new.

There are lots of ways in which you can buy something pre-loved instead of brand new. Charity shops, car boot sales and online marketplaces are great places to find unique items that are still in good condition, and you’ll be stopping them from going to landfill.

Consider selling or donating your own unwanted items to keep the cycle going.

Choosing products with sustainable or ethical labels such as carbon neutral, recycled, organic, Fairtrade, cruelty-free, slave-free and conflict-free shows companies that these issues are important to us.

Christmas, birthdays and other celebrations are often centred around material gifts, yet many of us state that we’re happier when we spend quality time with our loved ones. Instead of buying gifts, you could organise a day out or an evening in with those closest to you. There are plenty of ideas available online for making the most of quality time without having to spend a fortune.