Environmental purchasing means selecting products that use less water or energy, fewer and safer chemicals, or contain recycled content compared to products made for the same purpose. When we buy a better-made product, we reduce the environmental impact of that product throughout it's lifecycle, and also the impact on our own personal health. Typically, these products will have a third-party certification such as EPA's ENERGY STAR or USDA's "Organic" logo to signify they have met certain performance criteria and can document their environmental claim.
Many federal, state, and local agencies and organizations have environmentally preferable purchasing policies which strategically procure products to reduce their environmental impact, drive markets, and occasionally, to reduce costs (e.g. by buying remanufactured, re-refined, or re-built items).