Are you looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day 365 days a year? You can be more mindful of your environmental impact through the purchases you make every day. Below are just a few ways to make your debit and credit card swipes more eco-friendly.
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. Why? Reusing an item means it won’t need 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. See the Where to Go in Cincinnati section below for local options in your area!
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 whatever amounts you need. 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
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
It feels good to give, and you can ensure your hard-earned money is going toward bettering the environment by donating to non-profits like La Soupe. This non-profit rescues food and transforms it into delicious, healthy meals for Cincinnatians experiencing food insecurity.
Food waste is closely tied to environmental issues. In fact, 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions are tied to food waste.1 Since launching their Community Kitchen Program in response to the pandemic, La Soupe has rescued over 130,000 lbs. of food.
This is just one reason General Electric Credit Union (GECU) is proud to support La Soupe’s mission through our Giveback Partners program. Learn more about La Soupe and all of GECU’s 2021 Giveback Partners!
- Tip: If you plan to donate to any organization using your credit card, brush up on the red flags associated with charity or debit and credit card fraud.
Where to go in Cincinnati
Fill More Waste Less
- Where: 4305 Whetsel Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45227
- What: Refillable beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products. Plus, zero-waste essentials!
- Where: 318 West Fourth St. Cincinnati, OH 45202
- What: Refillable beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products.
Bulk bins often feature dry goods like nuts and granola and allow you to take only what you need. Packaged bulk foods lower the product-to-packaging ratio, potentially helping you reduce waste and the frequency of shopping trips.
Cincinnatians have many local options:
- Clifton Natural Foods
- Madison’s at Findlay Market
- Whole Foods Market
- Costco Wholesale
- Sam’s Club
There are hundreds of ways for you and your family to cut back on waste and consumption. Whether you pick up trash along a frequented walking route, take shorter showers, or mix up everyday debit and credit card purchases for more sustainable options, you can play a small role toward a bigger goal: a healthier, happier Earth!