Student’s Corner

Sustainable Purchasing Pays Off

We all have to make purchasing decisions at one point in time, whether they are for essentials like food, water, electricity, or for more convenience and luxury items such as cars, electronics, and furniture. In most of these decisions, you will have the option to choose a more sustainable product or service, and as this post will explain, that option will more than likely pay off, even if it is a little more expensive at first (see why in this earlier post).

Listed below are some of the reasons that these more sustainable options pay off:

  • They cause less harm to the environment
  • Can save you money in the long run
  • Push the market in a greener direction
  • Build a healthier economy
  • They do less harm to the environment

They cause less harm to the environment

More sustainable products cause less harm to the environment as they take environmental impact into consideration during manufacturing and processing. This is often achieved by using fewer resources, using cleaner and greener resources, making products more efficient, making products more durable, etc. Additionally, many companies that value sustainability will give back, e.g., they will donate to green organizations or plant trees in a tree-deficient area. In other words, buying more sustainable products and services will reduce your environmental impact and in some cases help you indirectly fight for the environment.

Can save you money in the long run

As mentioned above and in an earlier post, more sustainable products and services tend to be of higher quality, durability and efficiency. Quality comes from the companies values and that more sustainable resources tend to give better results, durability is important as reusability is valued as a key factor of sustainability, and efficiency stems from the value of fewer resource consumption. This means that you can save money from using less electricity or having to purchase the product or service again because it broke or wore out.

Push the market in a greener direction

In an earlier post, I explained how the demand for more sustainable products and services is still lower than the conventional ones. This means that prices will still be higher for more sustainable products and services until the demand is shifted. Therefore, by purchasing more sustainably, the market is pushed in a greener direction which will later result in lower prices as the demand rises.

Build a healthier economy

Sustainability focuses on three main areas: environment, society, and economy. Therefore, truly sustainable companies must focus on all three factors. This includes paying fair wages, employing in local communities, having a safe environment for their workers, and more. These all create a healthier economy as more people will make a living wage, be able to focus on other things than just surviving, and of course pay for the more sustainable products and services. There are many benefits to this outside of environmental sustainability including safety, health and education.

 

Sustainable products and services may cost more upfront but tend to pay themselves off in many ways. Some of the aforementioned benefits of sustainable purchasing may take time to achieve but will accelerate other benefits that will follow, such as a cleaner earth, safer society, longer life expectancy, etc., but they will pay off.

Written by Zein Tynon, Class of 2024

 

Sources:

Brandpoint. (2019, April 23). Consumers across the country use purchasing power to help the environment. Associated Press News. https://apnews.com/article/9ccbf15e5bc546e79978ca728dd5fad5.

Smith, L. (2020, October 10). Why sustainable goods cost more (and why you should consider choosing them anyway). Good Intent. https://shopwithgoodintent.com/blogs/news/why-sustainable-products-cost-more-and-why-you-should-be-willing-to-pay-for-them.

Photo Credit:

Photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash

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