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Shopping for Better Air Quality

The month of May is Clean Air Month. The easiest way to create better habits for our air is by altering the activities we already do every day. Shopping is one of America’s favorite pastimes. We do it so often we do not think of the impact it can have on the world around us. In Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), Sophie Kinsella penned one of shopping’s best quotes. “When I shop, the world gets better.” Many are unaware of how everyday shopping habits can affect our daily air quality. Making simple changes and implementing a few things in our shopping routines can reduce the number of emissions in North Texas air.

Here are some ways you can adjust your shopping patterns to moderate the impact made on air pollution.

Shop online. In 2016, eight out of ten Americans chose to shop online instead of purchasing items in store. As this number slowly increases, this will lead to fewer cars on the road. You can now even purchase groceries online and have them delivered directly to your door. With companies such as FedEx and UPS, delivery routes are optimized for fuel efficiency, so every item delivered is one less car on the road driving to find items. Avoiding the trip to the store reduces emissions in our air. Think about this next time you want to make a trip to the store.

Buy from resale shops. The items you are looking for do not always have to be brand new. Try shopping at secondhand shops or thrift stores to prevent the need for new production and to keep old items out of landfills. Thrift stores offer a wide variety of items including clothing, décor, appliances, and more. Additionally, consider giving your unwanted items to resale shops instead of throwing them away. Visit Dallas City Voter for the top voted resale shops in North Texas.

Buy from sustainable companies. Many people shop without thinking about how goods are produced. Although companies are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impacts, production of clothing alone accounts for 850 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. Research the brands you love to find out what they are doing to take care our environment. Read product labels and visit company websites to learn whether they have certain initiatives to improve air quality.

Avoid certain products. A simple way to improve air quality is to avoid consumption of certain items. Items to avoid include items kept in plastic containers, mass-produced foods, and clothes produced with toxic chemicals. Download the app Good on You to find clothing items that are good for the air and our earth.

Let brands know you care. Contact your favorite brands through email or social media and let them know you care about their impact on air quality. Because most brands have special teams dedicated to social, environmental, and community impact, communication with companies is easy and feedback is valued. Simply sharing your opinion can propel companies to work toward certain goals and implement new initiatives. Think about how you can communicate with your favorite brands and encourage them to be air aware.

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