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20 questions to choose a sustainable product

In the previous post, we have talked about the life cycle of a product or a service and how each stage of that process has an environmental impact.

We encourage you to research the ecological footprint of an item before purchasing it so that you can consume more responsibly. 

We have compiled a list of questions that can help us, as consumers, to choose the most sustainable product:

Analysis phase

  • Do I really need it? 
  • How many times will I use it? 
  • Are there other options more sustainable (second hand for example)?

Sustainable raw materials 

  • How are the resources needed to produce that product: exploited or extracted?
  • Is the product made of renewable/sustainable elements? (that can be biodegraded, composted, recycled… in the future)
  • Are these materials used efficiently?
  • Does the company have a circular economy strategy?

Production 

  • How much energy is used during the production process? 
  • Are they renewable energies? Or, on the contrary, are fossil fuels used in their production?
  • Is the use of energy done efficiently?
  • Is the use of energy done efficiently?
  • Does the company have a sustainability plan? Are they committed to offsetting their carbon emissions?

Distribution/Logistics

  • How are the goods transported? 
  • Plane, train, truck? How many kilometers do they travel? Is it a local product?
  • What fuel/energy source does that transport need?

Waste 

  • What happens to the packaging after use? 
  • Is it recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable? 
  • Does the company have a recycling scheme to collect their own packaging and recycle it?

As consumers we have the responsibility to know what we are buying, adding the reason that many of us want to adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Many times it can be overwhelming with the number of options there are to understand their environmental impact, so we hope that with this basic guide from The Planet App it would be helpful to face the final decision in buying a more sustainable product.