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Make Smart Purchases – Buy Smart, Buy Local, Buy Green

Smart choices can reduce your impact on the environment on which birds rely. “Buy local” and reduce the carbon footprint of your trip to the grocery store.

  1. Shop near home. Make only one shopping foray a week if you can.
  2. Use your purchasing power to help shift markets in a more ecologically friendly direction. Check labels: Where did the products in your grocery cart come from? What resources did it take to grow, produce, and ship them? Apples from New Zealand? Roses from Ethiopia?
  3. Think local first. Then buy certified organic or fair-trade products — bananas and other produce, chocolate, coffee, etc.  
  4. Buy only coffee that’s shade grown. Shade-grown coffee retains valuable wintering habitat for birds that might breed in your backyard, like warblers, flycatchers, and tanagers.

  5. Purchase products made with recycled fiber to protect crucial nesting habitat. Look for products composed of 30% - 100% Post-Consumer Waste. Virgin paper products are extracted from the Canadian boreal forest, where 3 billion North American birds breed. Learn how you can make smart paper purchases.
  6. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo when purchasing paper or wood products. An FSC logo certifies that the product was derived from responsible forestry, which benefits both people and the environment. Learn more about FSC and learn where you can purchase FSC products.
  7. When you buy seafood, make ocean-friendly choices. You can find a Seafood Watch Guide for your area here. Surprisingly, buying certain fish may have an adverse effect on albatrosses.
  8. Stop buying water in plastic bottles. These bottles not only require the use of lots of petroleum, but when we discard them -- we recycle surprisingly few of them – they can end up in places that destroy bird habitat. Use reusable water bottles.
  9. Reduce your consumption of plastic. It could turn up in the middle of the ocean. Learn more about the enormous swirling mass of plastic in the Pacific gyre in the Pacific Ocean, and its impact on albatross nestlings. Learn more, listen to the show.
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