Jan 6, 2009

Green Tips to Save the Earth - SHOPPING TIPS

General Considerations

Being environmentally conscious when shopping, we should only buy items which are actually needed.
  • If you prepare a shopping list before buying, you can avoid purchasing redundant or unnecessary items, which will reduce waste.
  • Family-sized products require less packaging and generally cost less.
  • Overall, if you only purchase products with minimal packaging you will not only save resource, but also help to decrease the amount of energy used during the packaging process.

When Buying Food and Drinks

Food and drinks tend to be heavily packaged, but more environmentally friendly alternatives are available.
  • You can cut down on take-away food, which uses more disposable packaging, and choose to eat at home.
  • Buy drinks in returnable bottles where possible.
  • You should avoid laminated beverages, the containers cannot be recycled.
  • Try to use durable tablewares instead of disposable ones such as foam containers, paper cups, disposable plastic cutleries and wooden chopsticks.
There are also ways in which you can protect nature when purchasing food.
  • Try to buy fresh local food, which requires little packaging and reduces energy consumption and pollution because no long-distance transportation is required.
  • When organic food is available, choose it to lessen the harm caused by chemical pesticides and fertilisers to both the environment and your health.
  • Do not consume products containing endangered animal parts or plants because they help to maintain the biodiversity that keeps the environment in balance.

When Buying Daily Necessities

Our daily necessities are often the most polluting, but there are always more environmentally friendly alternatives that are easy to find or make.
  • Buy ant or cockroach traps instead of fluorocarbon sprays; they are less polluting and can reduce insect populations effectively.
  • Minimise your purchases of products such as aerosol sprays that contain ozone depleting substances.
  • Replace non-rechargeable batteries with rechargeable batteries, old rechargeable batteries can be collected at collection points throughout Hong Kong.
  • A simple solution of vinegar and baking soda is an effective multi-purpose cleaner, which is more environmentally friendly and much cheaper than cleaners containing chemicals.
  • Handkerchiefs are more environmentally friendly than tissues.

When Buying Clothes

The process of manufacturing of materials for clothes might cause harm to the environment.
  • Choose clothes that are made of non-bleached materials because waste water generated from the bleaching process affects the marine ecology.
  • Choose clothes made of materials which do not crease easily, thus less energy is consumed for ironing.

When Buying Electrical Appliances

Think green when buying electrical appliances. Always choose refrigerators, air-conditioners, washing machines, tumble dryers and other electrical appliances with Grade 1 Energy Efficiency Labels; these products consume less energy than those with higher grade energy labels.