Are Your Shopping Habits Hurting Endangered Species?

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For Earth Day, choose to make a difference and change the way you shop.

Everything we purchase comes at a cost — and we’re not just talking about what’s written on the price tag. Our buying habits hurt endangered species, unless we do something about it.

Was the palm oil in the chocolate bar you ate earlier today manufactured from what used to be jungle habitats in Indonesia? Where do you think all the minerals needed to put your iPhone together comes from?

Unless you make it a point to buy only locally and sustainably sourced products, then it’s close to impossible to figure out just how much your purchases affect the environment.

But researchers have found a way to identify just how much our consumption can threaten wildlife.

When buying habits hurt endangered species

As you can see in the graph below, global consumption causes species threat hotspots all over the world, from Southeast Asia to Canada.

buying habits hurt endangered species

This figure shows the global hotspots of species threat linked to consumption in the US. (Source: Daniel Moran & Keiichiro Kanemoto)

“Connecting observations of environmental problems to economic activity, that is the innovation here,” researcher Daniel Moran from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said in a press release.

Moran says that understanding how supply chains impact the environment is the first step to cleaning up that supply chain.

For example, government regulators can only control the producers whose products cause biodiversity losses and deforestation in Indonesia.

How to shop sustainably and save money

Are Your Shopping Habits Hurting Endangered Species?

Source: Pexels

Concerned about how your buying habits hurt endangered species? While it would need to take action from governments and corporations to make a significant impact in the protection of our environment, you can also do your part.

How? Go green when you shop!

You might think that going green means spending more, but that isn’t always the case. You could even end up saving money. Here’s what you can do to do your part for the environment.

1. Choose local

Buying local not only reduces your carbon footprint (i.e. it takes less carbon dioxide emissions to get your items to your hands), but it also gives you more access to fresher produce. Buy seasonal, local produce and you’ll be enjoying tastier food!

2. Avoid plastic waste

We all know how plastic is harmful for the environment, so do what you can to reduce your waste. Avoid products that are over-packaged and take your canvas bag to the supermarket. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that.

3. Choose sustainable products

Be mindful of where your products come from. Buying organic, for example. means that your purchases weren’t produced with harmful pesticides. There are certifications like Fair Trade or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that make it easier to spot sustainable products.

 

Do your buying habits hurt endangered species? What will you be doing to change that?

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