Want to Help Protect the Environment? Support the Right Businesses—Here's How

Our partners at the Natural Resources Defense Council break down what you need to know to affect real change every day.

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The August issue of Marie Claire—its first-ever sustainability issue—highlights fashion designers and brands that incorporate sustainable practices into their operations, as well as some sage advice from eco-conscious leaders around the world. Marie Clairea partner of NRDC and its Clean by Design initiative, is one of many big companies currently underscoring the importance of sustainability in fashioning a better future for the planet.

As businesses continue to integrate sustainability into their operations, consumers have a tremendous amount of influence that shape industry actions. In an era of increased transparency and access to information, there are more tools than ever to help consumers understand how to make better brand decisions. Here are a few ways to support responsible businesses:

1Decide what's important to you. Are you passionate about a social or environmental cause? Is there a particular place that you would describe as your "happy place"? What gives it that quality? Is it the clean air or water? Make that issue your priority and support companies and organizations that share that priority.

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2Be informed and do your research. Free phone apps and online guides and databases such as those from the Environmental Working GroupThink Dirty, and GoodGuide give you the power to look up your favorite product in the store and decide if its ingredients are safe for you. For other consumer goods, Project Just and Done Good (opens in new tab) help you decide if your dollars are supporting a company that values diversity, produces in the U.S., is eco-friendly, or cruelty-free.

3Be vocal about your stance. Be active in your community. Tell businesses and fellow consumers what you think on social media.

4Make a difference todayJoin Marie Claire and NRDC to help the planet—donate at hearstforhumanity.com/mceco.

For more information on NRDC's commitment to sustainable operations, check out our sustainable performance and Sustainable Operations plan here.