One challenge of late, being the progressive I am, has been finding the right blend of cost and "quality". Quality is getting special emphasis here as I am adding to the generally understood usage. Besides adhering (or exceeding) our expectations for longevity, accomplishing the product's purpose, and such, I also add quality of life. Meaning, in more depth, impact upon the earth. This is more than just environmental concerns, but also those of social justice.
What makes this challenging is the huge array of metrics for "sustainability". There's Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Organic, Utz Kapeh, Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, Forest Stewardship Council, USGBCs LEED, Song Bird Friendly, Slave-Free, etc (this is just what rattles off my head). Few people want to spend time considering their purchases, much less researching the different schemes, blah blah.
For me, I often shoot for the easy way. Shopping at such institutions as Whole Foods or PCC (a Seattle area co-op). Allowing me to rest assured that whatever I purchase, it will have been ethically sourced. Of course, Trader Joe's, long a staple in this sector, has been dinged with some issues surrounding fish. Thus, some use of the brain is still required. However, many businesses have been aware of how important trust is, and are working on maintaining that. (TJ's is part of that, from what I can see, and I'm sure they're working on addressing their issues around sourcing fish ->don't let me down TJ!). So, we should be alert and vigiliant, but probably don't need to be overwrought, either.