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It can seem so easy to pop out and buy new things, can’t it? Whether it’s a new item you see everyone in the office wearing, or a home accessory you saw on a sponsored Instagram post and think would look perfect in your entryway, temptation is everywhere and the rise of online shopping makes it easy to indulge.

If you’ve made a new year’s resolution to be more conscious when consuming—or you just want to overhaul your buying habits—here are some tips for a more sustainable lifestyle:

Make a commitment to buying second-hand or vintage. Buying gently used items is good for both the planet and the economy. Whether your nearest consignment shop is a tried and true Goodwill or an upscale vintage boutique, clothes, furniture and home accessories are sometimes worth the thrill of the hunt. A bonus? Older clothing and furniture tend to be made to last, as opposed to many modern “fast fashion” brands.

Make use of sustainable brands. Speaking of fast fashion, designers in all industries—from fashion to coffee—are taking a stand against unsustainable production and labour. Choosing to forgo cheap and easy buys in favour of ethically and Canadian-made products can be a great way to show your support. These brands tend to be a larger investment, but they’re also made to last.

Cut your shopping down, period. One strategy that’s obvious in theory but harder in practice, is to cut down buying new products completely. For some things, like toiletries, buying new is unavoidable, but for others—hostess gifts, new clothes every season—you might be able to cut back. Organize clothing swaps with your friends or take advantage of trading platforms. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll be doing the planet a favour.

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