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How Your Shopping Choices Affect Climate Change

Woman shopping with reusable bags

Earth Day comes once a year, but what if the collective consciousness of protecting our planet carried over into our everyday actions?

Every year, a commemorative day rolls around that is especially close to our heart – and our mission.  

Since 1970, on April 22, the world pauses for Earth Day, to recognize and advocate for the welfare of our planet. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and this year’s theme is Climate Action. 

“The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.”

– Earth Day Network

What Earth Day and Climate Change Means to Us

All of us at Healthier by Nature and the Canadian Health Food Association believe that true health and happiness is a balance between a nutritious diet, regular exercise and natural health support. That’s why we strive to educate Canadians on the many benefits of natural health and organic products. Formed in 1964 from a grassroots community of health food pioneers, CHFA now represents over 1,000 Members and in 2019, we introduced Healthier by Nature to provide education and content that supports natural health and sustainability. 

Achieving genuine health and happiness extends beyond personal experience. Our wellbeing is completely dependent on the environment. Taking action to reduce environmental damage is vital in altering the course of climate change and protecting our planet’s future. 

We share this belief with our partners and Members, which include manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers of natural health and organic products – all of whom are committed to “green” practices. 

Each year, our industry comes together to celebrate and showcase companies and products that are innovating to harness the benefits of nature while also striving for consciousness and sustainability. We make it a priority to minimize our impact on all our events and trade shows and encourage our Members to do so as well.

launchpad chfa west 2020

“CHFA is committed to lowering the environmental impact of staging large events. Initiatives undertaken in support of a healthier planet include things like ensuring all left-over food is donated to local food banks, using Bullfrog green power to help fight climate change, printing promotion pieces and signage on recyclable materials using vegetable-based inks wherever possible. In addition, we are proud to host our events at facilities that are LEED-certified meaning they are diverting waste from landfill and practicing environmentally friendly operations.”

– Judy Sharpe, Vice President, Events & Member Engagement at CHFA

We also share in the challenge to do better with the annual Supplier and Retailer Sustainability Awards, that celebrates partners who have gone above and beyond in fostering a culture of sustainability within all facets of their organizations.

Small-Footprint Shopping Tips

Of course, the responsibility for climate action lies with all of us – and consumers hold enormous power in both shaping our environment and influencing industry demands with every dollar spent. By now, we all realize that environmental sustainability is more than a trend, but a lifestyle commitment.  In honour of Earth Day, here are some small-footprint shopping tips: 

  • Go reusable. From shopping bags to drinking straws, single-use items are becoming increasingly available in reusable versions. Spending a few extra dollars now is an investment into consuming less in the long run.
  • Choose items with little, or no packaging, choosing whole produce over packaged fruits and vegetables, shop bulk with your own bags when possible. When purchasing packaged items, look to see the materials contain little to no plastic, are recyclable, and/or are made from post-consumer recycled materials. 
  • Shop local. Look for products from local farmers and Canadian companies. This reduces the use of fossil fuels to transport food and supports local economies. 
  • Shop Organic and support farmers and manufacturers who are committed to sustainability in their stewardship and operations.  Food choices make a substantial difference to our environment, and organic agriculture provides healthy food while supporting biodiversity by using fewer chemical inputs.
basket of vegetables

Finally – shop locally at your CHFA Member retailer and vote with your dollar for businesses that walk the talk of natural sustainable lifestyles. Not only that, but they also offer the best selection for all your environmentally friendly grocery and household needs.  

Every conscious choice you make is an act in preserving the future of our planet and even the smallest gestures at home and work make a difference. Join our community at Healthier by Nature to keep up on the latest information on sustainable lifestyles, and check out this extensive list of simple tips from The Earth Day Network.

Finally, we believe that we’re all in this together to take action to influence climate change, extending the spirit of Earth Day throughout the entire year. 

Happy Earth Day! 

As part of the senior leadership team, Michelle develops implements and leads communication initiatives that support the strategic priorities of the Association. She is responsible for overseeing the integrated communications strategy including both internal and external communications, the management of all public relations, marketing, advertising and member communications.