Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Shop & Unshop

Economic action to promote just and sustainable purchasing


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One of the most important green purchasing strategies actually costs you nothing--and may help save you money, and save natural resources, in the long run. We call it unshopping.

Before buying anything, ask yourself:

  • Do I really need and want this? Can I get by without it?
  • Is it made from renewable or nonrenewable resources?
  • Is it made of recycled materials and is it recyclable?
  • How long will it last and how will I dispose of it?
  • Can it be maintained and repaired?
  • Could I borrow it, rent it, or buy it secondhand?
  • Is it overpackaged?
  • Is it worth the time I worked to pay for it and its cost to the environment?