Choosing quality, over quantity.
We've compiled a list of some tips you might like to consider when you next want to purchase a product. So grab yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and let's have a chat about sustainability.
Take time to research before making a purchase; consider the materials that make up a product and the process that produced it.
- If choosing to buy wood, look for FSC-certified forest products. This certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, ensuring it sustains economic viability.
- Try to buy products that are made from recycled materials. Recycled materials have already lived their life as another product and by buying recycled materials you are extending the use of this material, preventing it from being sent to landfill.
- Buying products that are manufactured from renewable energy ensures carbon is not generated in the process of producing your product. Where you can not source from companies relying primarily on renewable energy sources (often the most difficult in the manufacturing industry), instead look to whether the carbon generated can be offset.
- Carbon offsetting initiatives like Trees That Count directly offsets any carbon generated through the manufacturing process through native trees planted around Aotearoa.
"Planting native trees is one of the most powerful actions we can take to combat climate change, protect our beautiful landscapes, waterways and forests for future generations" - Trees that Count
Ask yourself how long you will be able to use the product for; can it be passed through generations or will it be disposed of within a few months.
- Of all plastic produced (380 million tons per year), 50% is for single-use purposes, used for just minutes and then thrown away.
- Opting for items that can be used over and over again over a number of years will significantly reduce our global waste problem, thereby redirecting items away from landfill multiple times and allowing you to gain the most value from one good quality product.
- If you look at a single takeaway coffee cup costing roughly 22 cents (NZD) that you purchase everyday at your local coffee shop for a year, that's $80 going straight to our landfills. Whereas you could instead purchase a reusable coffee cup for $30 and even score yourself a sweet discount on your regular cup of coffee at a number of cafes!
Finally, be honest about whether the product will add value to your life or whether it will simply gather dust.
- Make a conscious decision when purchasing as to whether you actually need it. Buying a new phone with brand new, shiny features might sound appealing however if you've already got a perfectly useable phone then why upgrade?
- Think about all the uses you will have for a product before purchasing it. Will it be used daily, can it be taken away on holiday, can you share it with family and friends? Ensure it can fill as many uses as possible so you get maximum value from the single item you are bringing into your life.