A checklist that ETSU employees can use during purchasing decisions to help guide more sustainable choices
Every purchase should consider sustainably sourced products over traditional products. As a general rule: if a sustainable product has equivalent functionality compared to a traditional product and is the same price or cheaper, always choose the sustainable option.
Thoughtful, sustainable purchasing helps us work towards zero waste and climate neutrality.
Questions to ask before any purchase:
● Is the product or service necessary?
● Does this product need to be new, or would used or repurposed goods suffice?
● How will it be disposed of? Is it recyclable, reusable, compostable, or
● Are there alternatives to this product on SpearMart? Use the green product filter
to find out!
● What material is the product made of?
● Is the product durable? What is the expected useful life span of the product?
● How has the product been transported and delivered? How far has it travelled?Can this product be found locally?
● Has the product/service been certified by an independent organization such as
Environmental Choice, Energy Star, EPEAT?
What the item is made from:
- Item is durable and reusable?
- Item is biodegradable or compostable? (note that some compostable materials may require industrial composting facilities, which are not widely available)
- Item is recyclable?
- Item is non- or relatively less toxic to humans and the environment? (e.g. certified organic)
- For clothing and textiles, item is made from natural materials? (e.g. recycled cotton, linen, hemp, etc.)
● Is the product energy efficient compared to other competitive products?
● How long is the warranty and should an extended warranty be purchased to
increase life span?
● Is the product designed for easy maintenance and repair? Are maintenance and
replacement parts readily available and reasonably priced? Is the product easy
and cost effective to upgrade or repair