Category Archives: Shopping

Hong Kong’s Best Shopping Guide

Grocery shopping in Hong Kong can be daunting. You sometimes need to jump from store to store to find all the items you need. Things like cheese and salamis can be very expensive, while other things are dirt cheap. We will give you a little breakdown on the various stores and options you have here.

Local Supermarkets

Wellcome: This is one of your basic supermarkets. They stock everything from food, drinks, cleaning supplies, etc. You can do your basic shopping here, and they always have various deals going on every week. Every couple of months they start a stamp collection, where if you spend a certain amount or buy specific products, you get collectible stamps that allow you to save up for various items, like cooking ware, watches, travel cases, soft toys etc. Also make sure to sign up for their octopus rewards program, which gives you a certain percentage of your shopping amount back.

Parknshop: Similar to Wellcome, this shop stocks everything as well. They have a little more variety than Wellcome, but they have similar prices. They have special offers and deals every week as well. Sign up for their MoneyBack program. This allows you to collect points on every purchase, and then redeem them for products or discount coupons.

Gourmet Foods

Taste: Taste is part of the ParknShop group. Here they start focusing on gourmet foods as well. You can find all the items you find in a regular Parknshop, plus various “gourmet” items. They also sell various household items and consumer electronics. You can use the same MoneyBack card that is used for regular Parknshops.

ThreeSixty: ThreeSixty is again a Gourmet supermarket, but with a twist. They stock only Natural and Organic products and promote healthy lifestyle products. They also have an amazing Food court in their stores, where you can get anything from burritos to organic gelato! They are higher priced than the previous places, but the quality is well worth the price.

c!ty’super: pronounced “City Super”, this place stocks a lot of gourmet products, mainly import items. They have products from around the world, including Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, etc. They also have Food Courts in various malls, with a wide range of food, and a section called Log-On, that sells lifestyle products. They are the highest price supermarket out there, but if you are looking for products not available anywhere else, you can find them here.

Great: Another Gourmet supermarket, with a lot of international food brands.

Olivers Delicatessen: A store in Central that sells gourmet food and drinks. They also have a large variety in deserts, candy and a nice bakery.

Sogo: This well known super department store in Causeway Bay also has a nice surprise in the basement. It has a large grocery market, with a lot of choice of different things. If your are looking for coffee or cheeses and meats, this is definitely a place to check out!

Gateway: Missing American food? Looking for those items you get only in Costcos? Well go check out Gateway. Located in Sheung Wan, this place has all your American candies, food, drinks, junk food and American hosuehold cleaning products.

Honourable mentions

The following are not supermarkets, but still places you can get food from at affordable prices.

Wet Markets: Every district has a wet market, where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables and very fresh meats! The choice is magnificent and the quality is good. Not for the squirmish, as you do see a lot of live animals being sold, but definitely worth a visit.

Delicatessen Corner – Holiday Inn Golden Mile: This little restaurant/shop located in Tsim Sha Tsui is the one place in Hong Kong you can find European cheeses, cold cuts and breads/pastries at very reasonable prices.

A Comprehensive Online Shopping

Online shopping is now the latest trend in shopping. Numerous consumers are becoming more interested in finding things they want to purchase online. Why is it so? When people shop online, they can check out the items they want faster and more conveniently at the comfort of their homes. Sales and promos are offered by online shops that consumers can readily avail of, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, in order to make online shopping effective and beneficial, here are some guides that are helpful:

Shop Online on a Secured Computer

Frauds and scams are very rampant nowadays and most victims are online shoppers. Therefore, make sure that your computer is protected by installing some basic security systems. As much as possible, create a particular email address exclusively for your online shopping. For added security, you may also use a third-party payment service provider in order to minimize giving out of your credit card or debit card details.

If you are using your computer at home, or your mobile phone, make sure anti-virus and other security software are installed.

Shop Only at Reputable Online Stores

Numerous fraudsters and scammers are taking advantage of online shoppers. Therefore, make sure that you only deal with legitimate online stores. You can check out an online store by reading reviews and reports. You can also inquire from online shopper’s forums about a particular online store to find out if that online store is legitimate. However, don’t be mistaken with some legitimate online merchants that use third-party vendors to take charge of their transactions. Usually, those that use third-party vendors will direct you to other site during checkout.

It is always better to consider reputable online shopping websites when making an online shopping transactions. Shopping sites are more reputable that classified ad sites because of their security infrastructure.

Most fraudulent activities are happening through classified ad sites where members are contacting other members without relying on website security.

Placing Orders

Before placing orders, make sure that you have checked how long shipping will take; especially if you are purchasing personalized items. During the holidays, shipments will take longer period so make sure that you place your orders early. Find out the cost of the shipment and other charges that are particular in your country. If the total cost of the things you want to purchase is too expensive because of shipment charges, it might be better to purchase them at the store nearest to you; if they are available.

Websites that require login are more secure because they have better security infrastructure, beside, you can add something inside your shopping cart and pay later.

Secure your payments

One of the major concerns of shopping online is fraud and theft. Fraudsters and thieves are able to get hold of consumers’ credit card details to steal. Therefore, when you shop online, make sure that you provide your credit card details only with legitimate businesses. As mentioned earlier, it is better that you use a third-party payment service for your online payments in order to avoid giving out your credit card information to all shops where you make purchases.

Another factor to consider to make sure you are dealing with the right seller is by checking the customer reviews.

Steps To The Best Home Refinance

Home loan refinance simply involves taking out a new mortgage loan while paying down the existing loan. The refinanced mortgage should always be structured in such a way that the terms of the loan are advantageous relative to the terms of the existing mortgage.

In the case of many homeowners today, there are a whole lot of good reasons to refinance a mortgage. If done correctly and under the right conditions, refinancing offers a host of potential benefits, including:

* lowing your monthly mortgage payments

* saving you money on the total cost of your loan

* allowing you to out on some of your home equity for use in paying down other debt – or for paying bills

It is not always a good time to refinance your home loan, however. In most cases, you will want to be able to qualify for a better interest rate than you have on your current mortgage in order consider a refinance. In fact, your ability to get a more favorable mortgage rate should be the central factor in your decision to move forward with refinancing your home loan.

Here are 3 steps to the best home refinance; a mortgage rate shopping guide:

1. Understand where today’s mortgage rates are in their historical context:

The rate for which you qualify today will depend upon two main factors: a. where average rates are today (relative to average rates of the recent past) for the type of loan you want, and, b. your current credit score.

Start by having a look online at today’s rates. Get an understanding of where rates are relative to the rates of, say, 3-12 months ago. Also, have a look at where rates they are today relative to that of your existing mortgage loan.

2. Do whatever you can to improve your credit score:

Unless your FICO score is already at 760 or above (which is considered a premium credit score), you will likely benefit from working to improve your score. Start by running your credit report. Find out if there are any errors on your report. If you find any, get them corrected immediately.

3. Submit refinance applications to your current lender and to 3 others:

Finally, when you are ready to apply for a mortgage refinance loan, be sure to get a quote from your current mortgage lender. But, do not stop there: apply to at least 3 other lenders, as well. Only by applying to multiple lenders can you hope to find the one that will offer you the lowest rate.

Home Theatre Shopping Guide

If you don’t have a home theatre system yet, you’re missing out on a lot of fantastic TV at home. Even if you have an HDTV, it doesn’t end there; buying a home theatre system can add a lot of enjoyment to your living room or recreation room. While the cost may seem a little high, it will end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Why make a trip to the movies when you have an awesome system sitting in your house? There are a lot of different options for home theatres, so here is a handy home theatre shopping guide to help you find the perfect system.

The cost and scope of your home theatre system will depend on several factors, including the size of the room it’s going to sit in, and how much power you actually want for your system. Regardless of what you can accommodate, a home theatre system is comprised of three very basic areas: the television set, your DVD (or blu-ray) player, and the audio system. All three can be argued as more important than the other, but it’s best to view them as integral to each other.

If you already have a television, that’s great. For others it may be time to upgrade to an HD set; you’ll get a much better picture than standard definition and prices are definitely coming down for HDTVs. Size is a big concern, since you’re probably looking for an effect similar to going to the movies – but your main concern should be with getting a widescreen television. Widescreen sets have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the standard for most DVD/Blu-Ray discs. HD programming provided from your cable company is also generally in 16:9 ratio, because that ratio looks best in HD. Standard sets have a ratio of 4:3, so look for the ratio on the box. Most HDTVs over 27 inches are widescreen, so you may not even be able to find a 4:3 HDTV.

Picking your disc player is important: are you happy with standard DVDs, or would you prefer Blu-Ray discs? If you’re getting an HDTV, you definitely want to go with Blu-Ray. Most players are backwards compatible with DVDs, meaning they will still play your old movies and sometimes even enhance the quality. To find the right player you’ll need to do some basic research, but a sales associate can sometimes suffice when finding a new player. You definitely won’t get HD quality picture on your HDTV if you get a regular DVD player, so keep that in consideration when shopping around.

Audio is the last huge component to consider when buying home theatre systems. Standard full systems provide you with 5.1 surround sound, and often come with 5-7 speakers. The number of speakers should be determined by how much space you have available. If your TV room is smaller, as little as two speakers will greatly enhance your viewing and listening experience. You can always add more speakers to your system if you move your system to a larger space. In general though, 5 speakers should be sufficient in getting quality audio, and you don’t need to get expensive speakers either. A middle-of-the-road system, as long as it’s treated well and not constantly at full blast, will last you a long time.

Shopping Guide for Boys

Shopping Guide for Boys Knickers Sets

Boys knickers sets are wonderful outfits for your little boy. It is a formal wear, but at the same time having a laid back, simple, and carefree look. Knickers for boys are great summertime outfits, since it is more comfortable to wear than tuxedos and suits. It is also great for outdoor events and weddings.

What do you look for when shopping for boys knickers? Whether it is toddler knickers sets or infant knickers sets, you can find it easier to shop with these simple shopping guidelines:

Consider Comfort

Boys are very active. So you might want to consider the fabric and cloth material of the knickers. A lightweight cloth of tweed and linen are great options, as well as for the reason of its durability even after washing it for several times. You can also opt for softer cloths for a more comfortable feel.

Cotton knickers for boys with a heavyweight quality are also a comfortable choice. Cotton allows movement and ease for active little boys, and very much suitable for the hot summer weather.

The Design

Boys knickers sets have a classic, regimental design. However, for infants, you can opt for short knickers rather than the long ones. The design will, however, vary with the color and pattern of the cloth.

For formal occasions, navy blue, grey, ivory, brown, black, and pinstriped blue are great color options. For more casual events, you can opt for patterns such as checks and pinstripes, with matching bright colored suspenders.

The Suspenders

Suspenders are the indispensable twin of knickers. You can opt to match the color of the suspender with the color of the knickers. However, you can mix and match bright colors to make the outfit look more fun and age-appropriate.

The Shirt

White is a classic favorite for shirts that matches with the knickers. But you can also play with colors, especially for Spring and Summer events. Turquoise blue, pink, yellow, and red are great color schemes. Bright colors fit well with toddlers and infants, and more appropriate for casual events. For formal events such as weddings, you might want to stick with the traditional white dress shirt to keep the outfit looking elegant and smart.

The Hat and Bow Tie

The hat and bow ties in a knicker set always matches the color of the trousers. It is, of course, part of the set. But you can also opt to mix and match the colors to brighten up the look of the outfit. Red bow ties are getting popular nowadays, aside from the classical black bow tie. For light colored knickers sets, you can opt for ivory bow ties or turquoise blue.

General Shopping Guide for New Moms

If you are a new mom, it is important to know how to properly shop for baby outfits. It is not at all uncommon for new mothers to find themselves in awe of name brand newborn clothing and designer baby outfits. As a matter of fact, most find themselves overwhelmed with the urge to stock the baby nursery with the latest high-end baby apparel. Today, newborn clothing is trendier than ever. There are many styles, designs and colors that are completely irresistible to new mothers.

Clothing manufacturers are creating fashions that are appealing to adults that have a keen fashion sense, and as a result, it is not at all uncommon for new moms to purchase more than is necessary or items that are relatively expensive in order to dress their baby in the latest fashions. As a new mother, there is one basic fact that you need to keep in mind when purchasing baby outfits. That is, your baby’s only true need when it comes to clothing is for it to be comfortable. In this general shopping guide, you will be provided with some basic steps on how to properly select newborn clothing for your new bundle of joy.

Size Matters

When shopping for baby outfits that are designed for newborns, it is important to understand that size truly does matter. Many parents spend a lot of time searching for and money into purchasing clothing that is specifically designed for newborns. It is best to purchase only a few items that are specified as “Newborn”, when it comes to size. A baby typically grows relatively quickly and you will find that they do not stay in newborn clothing for very long at all. Most parents, as a general rule, purchase more clothing in the three to six month range and even more concentrate their efforts on buying baby outfits that are in the six month to nine month size range.

For the most part, when buying clothes, take your child’s age and double it in order to ensure that you are purchasing clothes that will properly fit them. For example, if your child is a month and a half old, they will likely benefit from clothing that is designed for a child that is three months old and so on. Of course, this rule may not always work – it depends on the way that a clothing manufacturer’s sizing runs. You may have to do a little experimenting in order to ensure that you know which size is most appropriate for your new baby.

Safety Considerations

When shopping for newborn clothing, it is difficult to bypass clothing that is highly decorative and attractive due to apparel enhancements; however, you must consider safety over appeal. Have you ever stumbled across newborn clothing that has cute little buttons, decorative hooks and snaps, appealing pom-poms and even adorable bows? If you are like most parents, you probably answered “Yes” to this question. If you want to purchase baby outfits that include decorative pieces, you must ensure that the pieces are secured to the clothing and will not pose any harm to your child. It is important to also carefully evaluate the clothing for loose threads, loose seams and designs that may restrict your child’s movements or your ability to easily manipulate the clothing.


Prior to purchasing baby outfits, you should evaluate the fabric details associated with the apparel. Each label or description that you stumble across that is associated with newborn clothing must contain detailed information pertaining to the fabric that is used, the content of the fabric and the instructions regarding the care of the fabric. It is critical that you ensure that you avoid pieces that are composed of fabrics that are uncomfortable on the skin or have previously been proven to irritate the sensitive skin of a baby.

Additionally, it is important to avoid fabric types that may shrink when maintained or could result in complications such as the development of wrinkles or shredding of threads within the seams of the clothing. By ensuring that you purchase baby outfits that are composed of high quality fabrics that are the right size for your baby and do not pose any dangers to your baby, you are on the right track to selecting the best newborn clothing on the market.

Gold Wedding Bands Shopping

Gold wedding bands are a significant part of any marriage ceremony. Bride and groom come together during this special occasion to celebrate the ultimate commitment between two people. For grooms, a ring symbolizes their part in this desired obligation. Men’s wedding jewelry have become big business, catering to the two million plus marriages performed yearly in the U.S. As the design advances, with the rapid advancement of online retailers, consumers find themselves with a greater selection of products, ranging in color, style, fit and design. With all these choices, consumers should consider a few important points before buying a ring online, as detailed in this shopping guide.

The most important factor in selecting a band is personal taste. There are so many styles of including Celtic, two tone, flat to, milgrain and, of course, plain polished. These categories can be broken down further into a myriad of styles and designs. The question then becomes, what captures your eye? Do you prefer fancy cut style with faceted edges and patterns, or perhaps handmade designs which represent a certain detailed quality and uniqueness? You can also buy rings fitted with diamonds. Diamond bands combine the sleekness of gold with the excitement of sparkling diamonds.

In general, white gold rings are more popular than yellow gold. In particular, plain comfort fit is the standard. Simple and elegant, plain comfort fit gold wedding bands are more traditional in nature. As done by many a groom, you might consider engraving your piece to reflect the name of your bride or some memorable message. The variety of styles and designs are a great comfort to those who are looking to find that uniquely representative look and feel. Once you have established the desired look, you can then move on to verifying the security of the online retailer you are potentially buying from.

There are several points of verification you can look for in establishing that a site selling high end merchandise is reputable. First, look for a current secure socket layer (SSL) certificate, as issued by a Certified Authority such as Godaddy, Verisign, etc. This means the site you are buying from is trusted, and the information being transferred from you to the site is encrypted and secure from third party attacks. Secondly, look for membership in a reviewable consumer group such as the Better Business Bureau. Look here for complaints and disputes from previous customers. Thirdly, study the warranty for their items. What is the exchange/refund period? Is there an extended warranty available? Most reputable sites will give you at least 30 days to return your gold wedding bands. Carefully study the conditions under which returns are accepted, looking for anything unusual, like sky high restocking fees, as compared to other sites. Finally, study the customer reviews and testimonials from others who have bought similar items from the same online retailer. A great test of an online retailer is simply to call their customer service line. Are their representatives professional and willing to answer your questions? Compare your findings with other sites, selling similar bands and you should be able to pin down which online retailers are secure, authentic and ethical.

Price is the final factor in considering the purchase of wedding ring. Study competitive retailers by searching terms that are related to the items you are looking for. Look at the weight of the items and compare prices with other sites. Reputable resellers of gold merchandise often have a variety of designs and styles covering various prices ranges and willing display detailed information about each item. Are there amenities included in the purchase, such as gift boxes, and expedited shipping? Diamond band rings may be the most difficult to price. Diamonds require judgment in several areas including cut, clarity and color and carat referred to as the four C’s. Research the four C’s, educating your self to identify quality diamonds. Once you are done you can feel comfortable making a purchase as this process will ensure that you have found a reputable source for all of your gold wedding jewelry.

Definitive Shopping Guide

If you have larger than normal feet, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be to find shoes that fit. Manufacturers are more interested in creating shoes in common sizes so that they can get the biggest return possible. In the past, this meant that people with larger feet were reduced to shopping at specialty stores for styles made from companies that only made big shoes and not other sizes. The selection was often limited, and the styles not as fashionable as the shoes on the high street. Luckily there are more options available today for people with big feet. Here is the definitive shopping guide for finding stylish shoes that fit your feet.

Today most major manufacturers create shoes in a range of sizes, from very tiny sizes up to the large sizes that fit big feet. One style that always comes in all sizes are trainers. There are a great range of different types of trainers you will be able to find in your size, from high-tech athletic trainers to the colourful, street trainers that look good with jeans. Dress shoes are a bit harder to find in big sizes, especially larger sized heels for women. When shopping around, remember to look for you size but also keep in mind the width of the shoe. Some companies create large sizes but don’t take into account the extra width of your foot, so you could end up with a shoe that pinches the sides of your feet.

Where to Shop
It used to be that people with large feet could only find good fitting shoes at “big and tall” stores. These shops are still around and are a good option for people who have feet that are both wide and long and therefore really hard to fit. However, you won’t find contemporary, fashionable shoes at these stores. To get shoes that are more on trend with the season, you could consider looking at department stores and asking about larger sizes. Most big stores will stock at least a few big sizes in each style to have on hand. The final and best option is to shop around online. You can go to online shops, auction sites and websites that offer overstocked shoes from various stores to find great deals on stylish shoes.

Buying Shoes
When you decide to shop online, make sure you have the right size. Different countries have different sizing charts, so it’s important to check that you are purchasing your shoes in the right country and corresponding size. Sizes also tend to vary slightly among different manufacturers. In order to get the exact right fit, it is a good idea to visit the manufacturer’s website to take a look at their specific sizing chart. Once you start looking around online, you’ll be amazed at just how large the selection of shoes is that will fit your feet.

The Benefits of Having a Shopping

Today, with economic challenges that do not seem to end, it is hard not be critical and careful with the purchases that we make, whether it is a bar of soap, a new pair of jeans, or a ticket for two to Hawaii. There is no room for an impulsive shopper here in the 21st century, unless you have a reservoir of cash for “emergencies”, when you have swiped your credit card a little too often. Thus, having a shopping guide is important to help you stay on track with what you should buy and what you should not.

The benefits of having a shopping guide can be broken down into three parts. First, it can help you feel like you are making a well-informed consumer decision. Unlike a product recommendation or a review, a shopping guide works like a map that helps you navigate your way in the complicated consumer’s world. If you need to look for a baking oven to replace your old one, a guide about the best baking ovens on the market can help you receive more value for your money. Also, by having a guide that you can refer to when buying clothes, you have a resource that can help you find establishments that offers their merchandise at great prices.

The second benefit of a shopping guide is that it lets you know where to go when looking for a certain item or to avail a particular service. For instance, if you have a shopping guide of the mall that you are visiting, you will know exactly where the home appliances are, or on what floor apparel for women is located. It saves you from possibly getting lost inside a mall, or looking for a particular store that does not exist in that particular outlet. Most guides are available at mall entrances, especially if it is new. It can also be downloaded and printed for free if the mall happens to have a website.

Third, a guide helps you get rid of distractions, allowing you to focus on the item that you want to buy. Most guides are not only packed with navigational details, but also product reviews and recommendations that can help you make informed decisions. It is for this reason that shopping guides are produced in thick brochures and pamphlets; they are packed with useful information for the stressed-out shopper.

Aside from a guide that you can bring with you, such as those printed in brochures and pamphlets, there are also many websites that can function as shopping guides for the dazed online shopper. Make sure that, when referring to online guides, the website that you are browsing through is an authority in the industry. Verify its list of contributors and writers to guarantee peace of mind.

Green Shopping Guide

When I was in my twenties and thirties, I was a school teacher. I lived and worked overseas. I had many great adventures, but looking back two decades later, I can see that what I most enjoyed about those years was the lifestyle I had as a young mom in my neighborhood in Adelaide, South Australia. We enjoyed the best of a modern Western life without some of the “excesses” of 21st century life in the United States-not too much driving, not too much “stuff”, not too much debt…You get the picture. I had a cute little car which was fuel efficient. I had a cute little house and lovely English style garden. I shopped in my neighborhood, because, believe it or not, there wasn’t a supermarket or mall within 5 miles of the neighborhood where I lived.

What I loved most about how my money was spent in those days was that it mainly supported local people and products. My food came from small, family-owned fruit and veggie shops, butcher shops, and bakeries. All of my fruit and vegetables were grown locally and sold in the shops in my local “high street” or in the year-round farmers’ market. Many things I take for granted today like my washer and dryer, my living room furniture and my office equipment were far more expensive in Adelaide than they were in Seattle, for instance. But, we purchased from local merchants, bought quality to last and often recycled and shared. For months when my neighbor had a new baby, we shared the expense of a diaper service and we shared the use of my new washing machine. When another neighbor moved to a new job in another state, we bought their antique dining table and chairs to furnish our cottage’s kitchen dining area.

So, why am I telling you this story of a past life in another country?

Because–I think we have forgotten that we have the power to shape our lives with the choices we make and how we spend our money. I suppose we think we have to give up things we find “necessary” to save our environment, when really we might find that new choices result in pleasant gains.

At the heart of many of our environmental challenges today are the things we Americans buy and discard every day. Our economy is seemingly stronger the more we buy and the faster we replace things. Living a more environmentally aware lifestyle affects all aspects of our lives, but none more dramatically than our shopping habits.

There are many ways to turn your buying behavior into a force that supports environmentally friendly businesses and practices:

Choose the shop around the corner:

More and more, we’re hearing that carbon dioxide emissions from our cars are polluting the earth and contributing enormous quantities of greenhouse gases to the growing climate change problem. To reduce your carbon footprint, choose to shop close to home. Need some new candles? Check out the local artisan’s workshop. Looking for some fresh veggies? Look into your community’s farmers’ markets. You get the idea.


By that, we mean “bring your own bag” when you’re heading for the store. Whether you’re in the market for groceries or a new pair of pants, try to remember to take your reusable shopping bag with you. This cuts down on the annoying “paper or plastic?” questions and will mean fewer resource-intensive bags entering your community where they either need to be discarded in a landfill or burned in an incinerator.

Choose eco-friendly products:

Regardless of what you’re putting in your bag, whether it’s a new printer for your computer or some binders for your children’s new school year, there’s likely a more eco-friendly option available. Wondering what to look for? Here are few characteristics of earth-mindful options:

  • Look for second-hand or used items. These products require no new resources except the gas it takes you to get to the store. Furniture, clothing, kitchen items, and even electronics can often be purchased this way.
  • Search for items made with recycled materials. The most obvious option is recycled-content paper, but more and more there are products made of recycled products. Soda bottles can be made into fleece for clothing, tires can be turned into playground equipment, milk jugs can be turned into shingles for your roof, yogurt containers are made into toothbrushes and razors, and old barn wood can be transformed into one-of-a-kind tables and chairs.
  • Check out alternative materials. If you can’t find something that’s once-used like those that are second-hand or made of recycled materials, look for options made with eco-friendly materials. This can mean many things, but here are a few principles to keep in mind: Materials grown without the use of pesticides and fertilizers mean less harm to water and soil, so go for organic fruits, vegetables, and cotton products. Any resource that’s renewable is more sustainable than non-renewable options. Metals, plastics, and other petroleum by-products are not ultimately renewable (not to mention they’re production is incredibly polluting). Bamboo, hemp, sea grass, and jute, to name a few, are incredibly fast growing plants that can be used to construct furniture and rugs, clothing and bedding, and much more. Opting for the item made with fewer chemicals is always a good choice, too. It means it’ll be less harmful for you and the earth. So if you’re debating between stain-resistant shirts and those without, go for the more natural, less-treated option. Look for low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) products, natural cleaning products, and so on.

Choose “kid safe” and “pet safe” household products.

Opting for the item made with fewer harmful or potentially harmful ingredients is not only earth-friendly, but also “kid safe” and “pet safe”. Look for household products without the following common but harmful chemicals as ingredients: Naphthalene, kerosene, formaldehyde, phenol, cresol, lye, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, petroleum distillates, benzene, ammonia, paradichlorobenzene, sodium hydroxide, butyl cellosolve, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid.

Look for concentrated products:

Every bottle of laundry detergent and household cleaner that contains more water than active ingredients cost fuel and human labor to ship to a store near you. Purchase your household products as concentrates and add the water at home.

Look for water- and energy-saving devices:

Choosing products that reduce your consumption of water and energy will not only save you money, they reduce your overall earthly-impact. So go for bathroom and kitchen fixtures and appliances that conserve, opt for electronics that run more efficiently, and upgrade things like light bulbs and faucet aerators to keep your home running on less. A good bet for many of these products are ENERGY STAR rated options since they save significant quantities of both of these resources.

Reduce overall consumption:

Perhaps the most important change you can make in your shopping habits is to buy less. When you’re in the store trying to decide between two great books, or contemplating whether you want green or white sheets, evaluate whether you really need the item in question. Are there ways you can reuse something at home for that purpose? Perhaps you can share a lawnmower with your neighbor, or take books out of the library instead of buying new. There are lots of ways to enjoy the better things in life without taking something new home.