Are you looking for ways to minimize your carbon footprint? There is no doubt that shopping, whether it be grocery, clothes, or jewelry shopping, can be difficult for the environment. However, there are absolutely ways to not give up your favorite past time and still be environmentally and socially conscious. Here are just a few tips you can follow and habits to adopt to become a more conscious consumer.

1. Shop environmentally friendly, sustainable goods.

Are you wanting to treat yourself to a new piece of jewelry? Before you make any purchases, conduct research on brands that produce sustainable products with minimal impact on the environment. Jewelry is often entangled in conflict and controversy but there are alternative options with companies like Agape Diamonds.

“Agape,” meaning love, represents the company’s love for humanity and the environment, which is reflected in the source and quality of their products. Agape Diamonds offers lab diamonds, simulated diamonds, and ethically sourced natural diamonds. Find your perfect diamond ring, bracelet, or necklace that will last you a lifetime. Agape Diamond reviews speak volumes about the quality of the craftsmanship and the longevity of the project. Indulge in yourself and be kind to the environment at the same time.

2.) Reduce plastic by reusing bags.

Single-use plastic is a widespread problem in shopping, whether it be for clothing, home goods, or grocery shopping. One habit you can adopt that will cut down on unnecessary waste is to bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store rather than use plastic bags from the store itself. You will cut down significantly on plastic waste by adopting this simple new habit.

Another way we generate a lot of unnecessary waste when shopping is by using disposable plastic produce bags for each type of produce. Just like bringing reusable bags for your groceries, you can do the same for your produce. Consider purchasing reusable produce bags and bringing them with you the next time you shop. These draw-string, mesh bags are perfect for your fruits and vegetables and even come in different sizes to fit everything from oranges and apples to lettuce and broccoli. Each time you bring this reusable bag, you are contributing to the longevity of the planet.

3.) Shop ethical brands.

Not all clothing is made equally. If you are looking to replenish your wardrobe or redecorate your home, research the companies you are buying from. Avoid fast fashion brands that contribute to waste and poorly made products. Look for brands that have a purpose. There are dozens of fair-trade and ethical companies crafting eye-catching bags, shoes, clothes, and home goods. These companies support artisans in marginalized and vulnerable communities while producing high-quality items that have a long life.

4.) Donate and buy second-hand.

Clothing waste is a massive problem. We buy too much and throw away too much. One way to avoid this is to donate your clothes when you clear out your closet. Rather than throwing your clothes away, bring them to a local thrift shop and donate them. Through this habit, you’ll not only reduce clothing waste that ends up in landfills, but you will also support your local community through donations. When you are clearing out your closet, make note of specific items you may be missing. This way, when you go shopping, you will know exactly what you need and avoid buying unnecessary items.

The next time you go shopping, start at thrift stores. They are a great place to find stellar second-hand bargains. Some shops have vintage sections with unique articles of clothing that can be a great statement piece, while simultaneously saving money and reducing demand for clothing production.

5.) Shop local.

By shopping local, you are benefiting both your community and the environment. You are supporting the local economy and helping to create more jobs within the community. Buying from local businesses reduces the environmental impact that national and international chains impose on the environment through the transportation of goods. And when you buy your food and produce from places like a farmers market, you support local ingredients, reduce the need for transportation, and are eating the freshest food, which is good news for you as well!