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Even if nothing you purchase ever ends up in a landfill, creating the product in the first place consumes natural resources.  Use your purchasing dollars to support products and companies that place an emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Third Party Certifications: Buy materials that are certified by an independant organization to help you determine whether or not it is produced responsibly, is recyclable at the end of its life, contains recycled content, or uses less energy.

Energystar: Find electronics and equipment for your home or business that use energy efficiently, are better for the environment and can save you money.

Forest Stewardship Council: Purchase wood products made from sustainably harvested timber. 

EPEAT: The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool will help you find laptops and desktops that are manufactured environmentally responsibly and incorporate energy saving design features.

Avoid Plastic Bags: The trash we throw away has created an island of trash twice the size of the state of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Help preserve our environment by investing in reusable grocery bags.

Think Green: Purchase items with less packaging or with recycled content. Also consider buying in bulk to help reduce packaging and costs.

EcoConsumer: For ideas about how to balance consuming and conserving, check out the Seattle Times "EcoConsumer" column.