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Shopping and Money

Reduce your consumption


Everything we purchase has a carbon footprint – fossil fuels and energy have been used to extract virgin materials, manufacture and transport every item- often across the globe.

Fore Street Flea Market in Exeter, people walking on street surrounded by market stalls.
Photo Credit: Joe Baker. “Less cars, more fun. Fore Street Flea Market”. If you do have buy new, try to support local businesses.


  1. Ask yourself whether you really need to make a new purchase at all?
  2. Maybe you could repair the item? You’ll find fix-it videos on YouTube for almost anything or you could take it to a professional repair shop or your local repair café.
  3. If you do need to make a purchase:
    • Consider second-hand:
      • Find your local freecycle site online where people offer unwanted items for free
      • Try to shop in local charity shops, supporting a good cause whilst avoiding fast-fashion. You can even use charity shops online.
      • Use online marketplaces and auction sites where you can find second hand things.
    • If you need to buy new:
      • Try to select items that are made from recycled materials and materials that are easily recycled
      • See the list of resources below before you make a purchase

Resources for buying mindfully

  • Visit Ethical Consumer for advice on purchasing a wide variety of items.
  • The Eco Rating scores the environmental performance of mobile phones based on production, transportation, use and disposal.

Choose Green Banking


Finding banks with a strong ethical investment policy is an amazing way to make sure that your money is not causing harm to the planet. 

Switching your bank account can save more carbon than using your car less, eating less meat, and taking fewer flights combined! 

Oil derricks in a dusty landscape
Credit: Paul Giamou / Cavan 


Speak to your current bank about what they do with your money and take a look at this guide to ethical bank accounts to find out more and switch your banking today. 

SwitchIt is a tool that shows if your bank or pension provider fund industries incompatible with reducing carbon emissions, such as fossil fuel companies.  

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