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Living Green: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner

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Chapter 7. Responsible Shopping

It’d be great if saving the planet were as easy as changing our shopping patterns: Just buy the right stuff and you’ve done your part. The reality isn’t quite that simple. As any environmental expert—and Chapter 3—will tell you, reducing consumption is the first and most important step in living an earth-friendly lifestyle. But nobody said that going green means depriving yourself. Just think before you buy, and consider where your shopping dollars are going. Support merchants and manufacturers that respect the earth as much as you do.

This chapter discusses some of the things to keep in mind when you shop and suggests good places to find the things you need. And because environmentally responsible shopping can get expensive, this chapter also covers more affordable options like thrift stores and homemade health and beauty products.

Think Globally, Buy Locally

Globalization has made people realize that the world is smaller than it seems. We know that our actions can have a big impact on the planet as a whole, and many are treading more lightly to lessen their impact: buying green-living guides like this one, producing less waste, minimizing their carbon footprints.

One way to keep the whole world in mind when you shop is to support local businesses. What exactly is a local business? The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) defines it as a company that’s mainly owned by people who live in the area where it operates. (It can be owned privately, ...

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