Buy Local and Going Green

Image: street market with fruit and vegetables. Article: Buying Local and Going Green

Those of us who are lucky enough to earn at least $20,000 a year will spend more than a million dollars in our lifetimes. So, what do all of us “millionaires” want for ourselves and the world? What are those millions going to be purchasing?

Every dollar you spend is an opportunity to “vote” for the kind of world you believe in. One measure of the astounding growth of the green economy is the rapid scaling up of some of the green businesses listed in the National Green Pages™ over the past 25 years. When we first launched our green products catalog, the precursor to our Green Pages, we had to hunt high and low and find the 28 green companies we included. Today, our Green Business Network™ includes nearly 5,000 socially and environmentally responsible companies offering over 100,000 green products and services. Every one of them has a community-building, planet-restoring mission at its heart.

Green America’s individual members are a powerful force when they act together and decide to shop differently for people and the planet.

Commit today to becoming an even more conscious consumer:

Buy Green

Buy from businesses that solve rather than cause environmental and social problems.

Buy Local

Patronizing businesses in your city or town keeps money circulating in your local economy. When you choose products that are locally grown and made, and weren’t shipped a great distance to reach you, you limit your global warming footprint. If you can direct your dollars to items that are both green and local, even better!

Take One Step at a Time

Shift your spending patterns one step at a time. Choose one product you buy often, and commit to buying it green. Then, once that change has become routine, look for another spending category to shift to more socially responsible purchasing.

Buy in Bulk

Buy in quantity. Purchase staples—such as beverages, organic pasta, and recycled paper products—by the case and carton from green businesses. You can reduce costs, and often packaging, by joining with others to buy bulk items cooperatively.

Watch Out for Greenwashed Products

Become a “greenwash” detective. Today, being a green consumer means asking smart questions about whether a product touted as “green” really was made under fair labor conditions, with renewable resources. If you think a company is flying the green flag before it has done its homework, let its representatives know; and tell them you’ll be shopping from the screened green businesses listed in the Green Pages until it can substantiate its green claims.

Resources for Buying Green

The National Green Pages™ is the first and only national directory of green products and services, where businesses are screened for their commitment to social and environmental practices.

Our newsletter keeps members posted about new opportunities for greener purchasing as they become available, from greener dry cleaning to greener weddings. It also includes green discounts in every issue!

Check our Responsible Shopper. If there are some major consumer brands that you want to learn more about, look to Responsible Shopper for information about the company’s environmental and social practices. Use that information to demand change from the company, and consider a shift to greener purchasing. Responsible Shopper makes it easy for you to tell major corporations to clean up their acts; you can use Responsible Shopper information in your letters or e-mail links to the information to problem companies.

Free e-newsletter: A subscription includes seasonal green gift guides delivered to your inbox, featuring exclusive discounts on a wide variety of green products and services. It also gives you the latest green news and access to our action campaigns.