Many of us invest money to attain financial freedom in the near or far future. But if your financial freedom is contributing to the earth’s destruction, you need to change your ways. But how exactly does our spending hurt the planet?
Major expenditures, like building a home or traveling, have environmental impacts. Home construction generates tons of waste, many of which end up in landfills. Traveling, specifically, air travel, accounts for 75% of the aviation industry’s greenhouse emissions. By 2050, the industry could be responsible for consuming a quarter of the 1.5Â°C carbon budget.
Shopping online is not sustainable either. Believe it or not, we’d hurt the planet less if we went to brick-and-mortars. Frequent online shopping generates more packaging waste, and e-commerce products tend to come from different distribution centers. Combined, both factors lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions per product.
Considering all of these, is there even a sustainable way to enjoy your fixed-income investments? Yes, and it’s through these sustainable shopping practices:
1. Buy From Local Vendors
To help minimize the carbon footprint of importing goods, focus on local vendors when you shop. This Christmas, consider giving locally-made chocolate to your loved ones. Auro Chocolate is artisanal chocolate that supports Filipino farming communities and promotes sustainability. It has won numerous awards, most notably five gold awards in the International Chocolate Awards Asia-Pacific competition in 2020. Their addresses are available on their website.
If you want to indulge in costume jewelry, check out Amami. The brand celebrates Filipino heritage jewelry while providing a livelihood for Filipino artisans. They have limited edition collections, so get your hands on them now before they run out. Some statement pieces they use for their jewelry include authentic Capiz shells and freshwater pearls.
And instead of buying imported luxury bags, go for handwoven bags and wallets for once. Woven.PH creates stylish and high-quality bags, laptop sleeves, wallets, and cardholders. They’d make perfect gifts for your fashionable friends and for yourself, too.
2. Buy From the Mall
Whatever you want to buy, go to the mall and find it instead of shopping online. You might sacrifice a bit of convenience, but going out of your house can benefit you, too. You can expose yourself to fresh air after a long time of being indoors. The outdoors will allow you to walk more, too, helping increase your physical activity.
However, since cars also contribute to greenhouse emissions, either use public transport or choose a mall within walking distance. Little sacrifices are what make us more sustainable, so think of the great consequences to motivate yourself to do the uncomfortable.
3. Postpone Buying Things You Won’t Consume More than Once
When we do our Christmas shopping, we often use it as an excuse to buy things we don’t need. If we need them, it’s usually just for one occasion, like a Christmas or New Year party. This habit causes us to accumulate so much stuff, which would end up as clutter later on.
While you can do and buy anything you want with your money, there’s no excuse to impulse-buy. It’s irresponsible, and it can be an addiction. And, of course, it contributes to waste and increases your carbon footprint. So be mindful when you shop. Before paying for a statement or expensive item, think about the times you’d use them. If you don’t see yourself benefiting from the item more than once, maybe putting it back on the shelves is wiser.
4. Choose Sustainable Products
If you want to buy a home or renovate, go ahead and do it. But try to make the project as eco-friendly as possible. You can do that by choosing eco-friendly building materials and furnishing. Look for items made from ethically-sourced timber. The products range from furniture to toilet paper.
Consider buying secondhand or upcycled furniture as well. It helps decrease the number of trees being cut down for the housing industry. As for building materials, consider bamboo, precast concrete slabs, reclaimed wood, recycled steel, and plant-based rigid foam. Ensure that your home design would also allow you to be energy-efficient.
5. Buy Vintage
Since we’ve just mentioned buying secondhand, apply that mindset when you shop for other products, like clothes and shoes. Every new garment leaves a carbon footprint because of its manufacturing process, so when you buy vintage, you reduce the environmental impacts of manufacturing. Vintage pieces have a significant value, and they’re usually better in quality that you can pass them down to future generations.
These shopping habits and finds will allow you to spend your investment income guilt-free. They’ll go a long way, too, supporting local artisans and small businesses. From now on, try to shop like this, and you can change more lives, including your own.