Green Tip: Remember the Reduce Part

9_9_08_cashregister.jpgFor us, weekends lend themselves to lots of shopping. We find ourselves perusing stores for things we don't really need—last weekend, it was a pair of shoes, a new shirt, and a pepper grinder.

We tend to overlook one very simple green move: buy less stuff.

So we're gonna step up our efforts in the spending department. Jump below to find out how.While we have gotten better about making more sustainable choices (bamboo kitchen products, clothes made with organic cotton or recycled plastic, shoes that will last for years), the most sustainable choice would be to purchase fewer things.

In the past, we've tried "buy nothing weeks" before (usually out of monetary necessity), and they tend to give us a great sense of accomplishment, liberating us from our consumerist tendencies. We purchased only the necessities; mainly food and sometimes toilet paper.

And so, we're going to try it again. But this time around, it's not as much about saving money (though that's a nice perk), but about accumulating less stuff—the "reduce" part of the "reduce – reuse – recycle" mantra. And if we do make a purchase, we'll be sure to make it as ecological and economical as possible by buying used, or buying local, or buying sustainable. We ask one simple question before every purchase: "Is this a sustainable decision?" And if we hesitate with the word YES, we put the item back. Well, most of the time.

Have you tried a "buy nothing week," or made changes to your purchasing habits as a matter of going green? Be sure to tell us about it.

Photo by Benjamin Earwicker

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