Environmentally conscious purchasing is choosing to buy products that minimize impact on the environment in all stages of the product’s life-cycle. We live in city with a thriving and sophisticated business community. Fort Lauderdale retailers offer many opportunities for neighbors to purchase environmentally sound products and services. From eco-friendly hair salons, dry cleaners, auto-centers, hotels, pool chemical manufacturers and cabinet makers, to environmentally responsible national chains, there are sources here for just about every green product.
What is a green product?
These products often bear multiple types of labels but are most often considered to be one or more of the following: energy-efficient, made of recycled material, water-conserving, reusable, non-toxic, low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), biodegradable and so on. Products earning any sort of environmental certification go through rigorous testing and evaluation to ensure that they meet standards not just for the product itself and what went into making it, but also for how it is packaged and transported to market, and for how it will be used and disposed-- the entire life cycle of the product Often the policies and working environment of the manufacturer are considered as well.
Do green products really make a difference?
Yes, they make a difference for a number of reasons. Energy-efficient and water-conserving products are beneficial to the environment because they lower GHG emissions and conserve natural resources. Products that are reusable, refillable, more durable, or repairable create less waste and are more cost-effective in the long run when compared to disposable or single-use products. Buying recycled products conserves valued landfill space by using goods made from materials that otherwise would have been discarded. Using recycled products and packaging also conserves natural resources and energy. Products with lower toxicity improve human and animal health, and also keep our land, air and water clean. When Fort Lauderdale neighbors make purchases that are environmentally conscious, the collective impact helps our City to meet goals for lowering GHG emissions, for reducing waste, for conserving water and keeping it clean, and for maintaining good exterior air quality.
Do we have to buy green products all of the time?
Actually, no, you don't have to buy anything at all to be a green shopper! You can also be environmentally conscious by practicing the Four R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, and re-purchase. Reducing is the best option because it prevents resource consumption and waste in the first place. Reuse is the next best because you are turning something that might be considered waste into something useful again-- in essence getting more out of the same amount of resources and prolonging the time to disposal. Recycling keeps raw material in the system, preventing further harvesting or mining for example, and reduces the amount of material being sent to landfills. Lastly, re-buying is the act of buying recycled products which again reduces the demand for raw materials. When you purchase items from one of Fort Lauderdale's charities or consignment shops, or one of our create upcycling retailers, you are buying green.