t Do shopping & lifestyle habits have an impact on climate change? Skip to main content


The World’s First Kerbside Recyclable Water Ice Pack

Patent Pending Innovation

This is a simple question on the face of it, but not one with a simple answer. In short – everything we do impacts the world around us, so on that basis, yes, our shopping and lifestyle habits do impact climate change, but some more than others.

As we move forward in this increasingly aware world of how our actions impact the planet around us, we have to look at what is perhaps the least impactful way to live, as opposed to having no impact at all. After all, the lifestyle of an extreme environmentalist or a radical eco warrior is not going to suit everyone, so the focus should be on reducing our impact as much as we reasonably can.

So how do our lifestyles impact the environment?

There are many facets of going on our everyday lives that have environmental impacts. These include:

  • Travelling – even using an electric vehicle has an impact, due to the manufacturing process used to make the vehicle, the battery and the components. Unless you walk everywhere, even using a pushbike has had a manufacturing impact at one point.
  • Eating – we’re all aware of the impact of breeding animals for food consumption, but it isn’t just meat that impacts the environment. Growing fruit and veg, transporting them, opening a shop to display them – the whole chain has repercussions.
  • Dressing – working on the basis we all wear at least one item of clothing every day (and in the cold, rain-lashed UK, that’s not a far-fetched assumption), that item has been manufactured, transported, displayed….so whilst shopping for vegan friendly products as an example may be beneficial, it doesn’t stop the eco impact altogether.

With this gloomy picture freshly painted, it’s important to look back at the first paragraph of this article – we can’t all reasonably stop impacting the environment, so how can we reduce the impact we have?

The “Zero” Lifestyle

Some people gravitate to a “zero based lifestyle” – zero waste, zero unnecessary shopping, zero meat etc – this isn’t for everyone, but if this is possible and comfortable, then this type of lifestyle certainly limits the impact that everyone practicing it has on the planet.

The “Minimalist” Lifestyle

Minimalists live simply, only buying what they need to serve a purpose. There is slightly more freedom with this than a Zero lifestyle, because individuals can have many purposes – for example, they may buy baking equipment to make a one off cake with the intention of keeping it after, whereas a person practicing a zero lifestyle may not do this, because they would see it as they don’t need the cake.

The ”Reusable” Lifestyle

Reusing items and buying reusable items is one big change that many people have adopted, helping to reduce the amount of single use items that are being produced and thrown away. Common swaps include straws, coffee cups, plastic bottles and nappies.

The “Sustainable” Lifestyle

Sustainability has many meanings to many people, but overall it means living a lifestyle in which you make sustainable choices. This could be to invest in a capsule wardrobe of a few items you can wear for many occasions (thus reducing how many clothes you buy), buying food in bulk to freeze instead of buying smaller items with more packaging that needs to be disposed of, and also making sure you recycle and reuse as much as possible.

Dietary Changes

Some people choose to change their diets, sometimes drastically and sometimes more tweaking, to better treat the planet. This isn’t the only reason that people may eat differently but it is certainly a big factor in why an individual may switch to a lifestyle such as Veganism or Vegetarianism.

Working Practices

Flexible working, especially since COVID, has led to less domestic vehicles on the road as people work from home. Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, staying at home was a legal requirement for many, but now it is often more of a lifestyle choice. By working from home and reducing commuting time, individuals can save money and the planet at the same time by reducing emissions.

These are just a few examples of how we can look to reduce the impact we have on the environment, but there are many more changes we can all make to still live our lives comfortably whilst keeping emissions lowered and being more sustainable. These could include:

  • Renting or creating an allotment patch to grow your own fruit and veg
  • Analysing the make up of cosmetics, chemicals and other household items to make sure they use organic ingredients
  • Holidaying in the same country instead of flying abroad to reduce air travel emissions
  • Reduce food waste – can you compost it, freeze it, give leftovers to family? Less food waste = less in landfill and a better economy
  • Learn what can and can’t be recycled and practice it properly. More info here: http://www.coolboxsolutions.co.uk/recycling-at-home-this-christmas/