How to shop more ethically and sustainably

It's easy to become overwhelmed when contemplating big issues, such as sustainability. It can seem unlikely that such a big issue could have small, everyday solutions. The little choices we each make each day can add up to something very substantial. BentallGreenOak Residential Services is here to offer some tips on how to shop more ethically and sustainably.


The Basics


Chances are you have heard about the basics of sustainability -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Cutting back on your personal use of plastics is a great place to start. This can mean bringing a reusable shopping bag with you when you go shopping and using glass or stainless steel containers.




The food industry is a large contributor to the global community's carbon footprint. You can do your part by choosing in-season vegetables and fruits that are grown locally, cutting down on food transportation which pollutes the planet. Fresh produce also tends to come in less packaging. Cutting back on meat and dairy consumption may be the single most significant change an individual can make to support the environment. If you do purchase meat, dairy and eggs, look for organic, free-range, grass fed or other sustainable options. Check the labels of packaged foods for such certifications. Fairtrade is a good choice as well as it ensures fair wages and safe working conditions for food producers.




Buying clothing that is produced ethically and sustainably is good all around. It's good for the planet, the workers, and the industry, itself. The Sustainable Fashion Movement is taking hold in Canada and beyond. The Good On You app is an easy way to keep track of a company's sustainability and ethical track record. Buying online is one way to cut down on the environmental impact of driving to a store (or three) and driving your purchase(s) home. Shipping companies can move more stuff, more efficiently. Look for certifications including GOTS, Ecocert, and Fair Trade Certified, and try to choose sustainable fabrics whenever possible, including bamboo and hemp.


Health and Beauty


Avoid the environmental impact (and irony) of purchasing health and beauty products that are toxic and harmful to your body and the planet. Look for Certified Organic and Not Tested On Animals logos, as well as plantbased ingredients and minimal packaging. The Body Shop has always been dedicated to delivering 'beauty with heart'.


BentallGreenOak Residential Services hopes these tips help you make informed, ethical and sustainable choices. For information on BentallGreenOak Properties across Canada, visit our website.