Five ways to reduce your environmental impact through your shopping habits

The first Thursday of every February is National Sweater Day. It’s a great day to look at how buying a cozy sweater can help reduce your impact on the environment! Here are five tips to keep in mind when trying to reduce your environmental impact through your shopping habits:


1.     Second-hand shopping: Why not support your local second-hand clothing store rather than buying new? Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll save a few dollars too!

2.     Clothing swap: Most of us can agree that we have a pile of clothing in our closet that we rarely wear. Why not organize a night with your friends to exchange these items as a way to refresh your wardrobe?

3.    One in, one out rule: To become mindful of your shopping habits, consider donating a piece of clothing every time you purchase a new article of clothing. This will encourage you to be conscious of the items that you purchase and help you distinguish between needs versus wants.

4.     Revamp what you already own: Need a new pair of shorts for summer? Transform those old paint-stained jeans tucked away in a drawer. Nothing is more satisfying than having a one-of-a-kind wardrobe. 

5.     Consider buying only natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, linen, silk, or hemp. These are biodegradable fibers which do not contribute to microfiber pollution. They break down in nature easier than synthetic fibres, making them a better choice for the environment!


Now that you’re bundled up in your new, cozy sweater, don’t forget to turn down the thermostat and reduce your energy usage even further! How can you connect National Sweater Day to the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge? Here are a few suggestions:

Do you really need it? 

This is a great challenge to complete with your students on this day. Have a class discussion on the difference between a need and a want and make up some of your own tips and tricks on how to conserve energy. 

Community Connections 

Why not turn your clothing swap into a school-wide or community-wide clothing swap? Have more than just clothes to swap? Add books, toys, and other trinkets as well! 

Recycle, Reduce, and Regift 


Follow the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge on social media: @CanGeoEdu, @Energy_Lit, #EnergyDietChallenge.