Conscious consumerism is becoming a trend, as more and more people start to consider the effect of their purchases on the environment, and we’re happy about it. But what does it really mean to be a conscious consumer?
With the holiday season upon us, we’re surrounded by infinite opportunities to buy stuff — everything from meaningful gifts to disposable decorations, landfill-destined wrapping paper, throw-away stocking stuffers.
We live in a society of choices, and that’s a good thing. We get to decide which products to purchase, which businesses (their morals and production practices) to support.
What is conscious consumerism?
Every time we buy something, we cast a vote for everything that brought that product into existence. We vote for the way that company’s treated its employees, the kind of materials they used and how they extracted them, the kind of packaging they chose.
Recognizing that our purchases have a meaning and impact beyond our individual lives is conscious consumerism.
Conscious consumerism is an awareness. It’s understanding the power of our buying decisions on our local communities, the global community and the planet.
Being aware of our buying power is important year-round. But it’s especially necessary during the holidays, when there is so much consumption happening around us.
When it feels overwhelming
Sometimes trying to conserve resources and live in an eco-friendly way can feel overwhelming. There are so many environmental problems we face in society; wastefulness and environmental depletion are all around us.
In another recent blog post titled Eco-friendly one step at a time, we wrote about the many ways we can be caretakers of the planet, and our readers offered their own ideas and insights around what each of us can do to make a difference.
But as reader Val Stow said in her comment, “There are so many small steps a person can do. One at a time. Get good at one, add a new one.”
This is so important to remember. Conscious consumerism is just one piece of the environmental puzzle — but it’s an important one, and every time we practice it, we have a small impact on the world.
These small impacts accumulate. Over time, each of us begins to affect the way products are made and sold. And together, we can shift the tide towards more sustainable production, ethical practices and feel-good consumerism.
How are you practicing conscious consumerism this holiday season and beyond?
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