Simple Steps to Sustainable Shopping

Globalisation has changed the way we shop. We can get different foods from different countries all over the world whenever we want.
But what we buy, where it comes from and where we buy affects the sustainability of the food we eat and the things we use.

We buy food more than any other product and our purchases have a big impact on climate change.

We can make choices over what items we buy, where they come from and where we buy them. Together we can all make a difference.

We’ve listed some simple steps below to help you be a sustainable shopper.

Getting to the shops

  • Do you really need to make the shopping journey
  • Shop locally and support your local economy. This will also save you time and reduce travel and pollution.
  • Walk, cycle or use public transport instead of using the car for your shopping trip
  • Offer you neighbour a lift when shopping if you do need to take the car


Ingredients for a traditional cooked breakfast travel approximately 10,000 miles to be on your plate. Food is one of the necessities of life but food production, processing, consumption and disposal can have negative consequences on the environment and local community.

  • Buy local organic produce and reduce food miles – this will reduce the impact on the environment from transport and pollution.
  • Buy Fairtrade food – this will help sustain skilled farming around the world and ensure that profits are more evenly spread.
  • Buy organic produce – this reduces the harm done by pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
  • Buy products in season. This ensures freshness, increases natural goodness and reduces food miles.
  • Only buy what you need – With cheap food being readily available it’s easy to forget it’s real value. The average household throws away 20% of food waste each week, which in turn contributes to landfill.
  • Re-use plastic shopping bags or use a ‘bag for life’. This will help reduce plastic production and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
  • Try to buy products with little or no packaging.
  • Visit your local farmers market – check out the CCBC website to find out when and where they are held locally
  • Remember – it’s also fun to grow your own!

Other items

Sometimes the first thing we need to ask ourselves is ‘Do we really need a new...?’

We seem to live in a disposal, want for nothing society. This needs to change if we are to live more sustainably.

  • Avoid disposable items where possible
  • Buy items that can be repaired or which are durable
  • Avoid over packaged products
  • Buy items made from a sustainable source
  • Give unwanted clothes/ furniture/ items to your local charity shop


The Green Grin-o-meter

Website by Andy Grant