Consumption at Home
Consumption Habits at Home
Over-consumption is a sustainability issue of central concern, as it is directly linked to the challenges of over-extraction of natural resources and waste. Reflecting on or even challenging our consumption habits can have wide-ranging influence on the environmental impact of our homes and on the trends within the consumer goods market.
See the list for some ways you can make an impact. Remember: individual choices on consumption accumulate into choices made by a community.
Before your next purchase, ask yourself “do I really need this?”. You may find you already have something that meets your needs and is still within its useful lifecycle. Essentially, careful consumption is waste prevention.
Use Durables & Refuse Single-Use
Not single-use, but hundreds-of-use. Having a reusable coffee mug, shopping bag, or utensil cuts our consumption of single-use items that are created to be thrown away. Durables end up back at home, rather than in the landfill or ocean.
Pro Tip: Consider putting together a zero-waste kit that includes: washable napkins, durable utensils, a reusable straw, reusable shopping bag, and a durable mug.
Fix It Fairs
Have something that broke but can be fixed? Visit a community fix it fair or repair event and get help of knowledgeable volunteers. Follow the link below for a calendar of events in the local area!
Borrow / Trade
Need to use something big just once and know someone who has one? Ask to borrow and return the favor! If it’s something small, ask them what they might need and propose a swap!
Library of Things
The Washington County Cooperative Library Services has an interlibrary loan system for borrowing tools and appliances. Check the list, place a hold, and pick it up at your nearest library!
Buy in Bulk
Buy it a lot and use it a lot? Consider buying in bulk to reduce the consumption of packaging. Take it a step further and ask a store representative about store rules on bringing your own container.
As we look towards sustainable consumption, the picture starts to become about feet rather than miles, especially with food. Buying local cuts the transportation emissions of what you buy and helps support a local economy.
Organic produce is grown without use of harmful pesticides or herbicides, reducing the likelihood of human consumption. Purchasing organic produce can also serve to support local farmers who have stalls at our local farmers market.
Look to give a used item a new home at a second-hand or thrift store. These items are often more affordable and durable, and won’t be quickly restocked with replacements.
Look for items with high contents of recycled material or post-consumer waste. Toilet paper is the most common and the best place to start!
Buy Nothing Day
Started as a response to the commercialization of Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Buy Nothing Day promotes spending these holidays with friends and family rather than purchasing goods at holiday sales.
Meat Free Monday
The raising and consumption of meat, beef in particular, is highly CO2 and water intensive. Try starting one day a week by enjoying more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and legumes!
Plastics Free July
Established to raise awareness on the environmental impacts of single-use plastics, Plastics Free July promotes committing a month to saying no to plastics and yes to durables and the strategies we may need for remembering to bring them with us.
Eat Smart Waste Less
The City of Beaverton's Eat Smart, Waste Less initiative gives guidance on meal planning, preparation, and storage to reduce the loss of edible food coming from our homes.
Educate yourself on how products can be “greenwashed”, marketed as being environmentally friendly alternatives. These products often do not posses the advertised benefit or contribute no less harm than conventional items. Familiarize yourself with the impact of product ingredients and packaging practices.