To only purchase items (food, clothing, sundries) that are environmentally and economically sustainable for one year (and perhaps beyond).
During 2011 I challenged myself to prioritize my purchases to emphasize environmentally and economically sustainable products and services. Put my money where my mouth was, as it were. The intent was to develop new habits that would ultimately help me reduce my impact on the environment. It started with groceries, but ultimately extended to clothing, personal care products, vacations, and home repair items.
Now that the official challenge has ended, I admit that my initial goal was a bit overly ambitious and a little vague. Traveling to two weddings caused me to “break” my guidelines because walking there just wasn’t an option.
I ended up reducing my shopping more often than simply finding replacements for items I bought in 2010. This may be, in part, because the eco-alternatives often cost more. The extra cost made me double check my “need” for particular items. Also, the distance of Renton from local indipendent boutiques prevented easy shopping (and easy spending).
Clothing was the area of greatest reduction. I hadn’t noticed how many emails I get from GAP and LOFT about clothing sales, until I started deleting them. I was getting at least 2 a day. When I was only shopping when I needed a specific item, I bought a lot less. I only bought a few new clothing items this year: a dress and a lace shirt (for the wedding I was in), an upcycled sweater, a bridesmaid dress, and a couple geeky t-shirts.
As resolutions go, this was probably my most successful and enduring endeavor. Especially in terms of my everyday purchases. I think I can maintain the core habits into the future–organic section at the grocery store; fewer meats, more fish; local businesses instead of national chains.
A link to all posts in the ”Sustainable-Me” category can be found in the navigation menu above or here.