• April 18, 2024
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 4 read

Go Green: Fresh Ideas to Become a More Eco-Conscious Consumer

Eco-conscious consumers make day-to-day buying decisions with environmental preservation in mind. If you’re interested in making changes to your spending habits that have a positive impact on the environment – both on Earth Day and beyond – the following tips are some simple ways to go green.  

How to be a more eco-friendly consumer

1. Adapt your shopping style

After a hand soap container is empty, you typically throw it out or try to recycle it, right? While recycling is beneficial, reusing an item has an even greater impact because the plastic doesn’t have to be dismantled and re-manufactured, saving energy. 

When you run out of things like hand soap, shampoo, or laundry detergent, visit a refillery to get more. These shops help reduce single-use plastic waste by allowing you to come in and fill the container you already have. 

You can also cut back on packaging waste by grocery shopping at stores with bulk buying options. Many grocery stores have bulk food bins where you can purchase dry goods in any amount. Because you’re only taking what you need, you may also reduce your food waste. Some stores let you bring your own container to fill, while others may provide one for you to use.

Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco Wholesale also offer bulk food in a different sense: large quantities of food in one package. This still reduces packaging waste because the package-to-product ratio may be better than buying a smaller-sized product.

2. Swap out single-use products

The U.S. produces more plastic annually than all the countries in the European Union combined.3 While this statistic is staggering, don’t let it paralyze your efforts! From water bottles to plastic baggies, there are many products you can easily replace with reusable options. While they may come with a higher price tag, the ability to reuse them will help you quickly recoup the upfront cost. Plus, no more pangs of guilt every time you throw out single-use plastic.

3. Support sustainable initiatives

Being an eco-conscious consumer is as much about what you buy as what you don’t buy. For example, your social media feed may influence you to buy new jeans when you already own more pairs than you can count. Take control of this situation by mending and appreciating the clothing you already have. While it may not be brand new or the latest trend, it will get the job done! You can help create less waste every time you choose to use what you have. 

We hope this guide helps you celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year. In addition to the tips above, GECU members can become more eco-conscious consumers by enrolling in eStatements within Online Banking or our mobile app.4 With less paper waste and enhanced identity theft protection, eStatements are a win, win for the environment – and your wallet! 

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