There’s no denying it—we’re living in an age where more is more and where “stuff” signifies social standing. While it’s important to take a step back and evaluate what you actually need versus what you want, there is also no shame in the shopping game. With that being said, today eco18 is going to be walking you through some of our favorite ways to become a more conscious consumer…
Beware of Retail Therapy: I know there are few things as helpful and effective as retail therapy, but it’s time to look at things objectively. Retail therapy (shopping when down or depressed) is a VERY temporary solution to something that is most likely not a temporary issue. All too often we find ourselves online shopping or at the mall when we are feeling down, and tend to make impulse purchases that fall under the “don’t need” category. By using shopping as therapy, not only are you finding a temporary fix to a bigger issue, you are also adding to the clutter of your life, which in the long run is most likely going trigger even more anxiety. Retail therapy is also a big issue when it comes to consumer waste, as many products you buy are most likely out of impulse and will sit unused and forgotten.
Indulge in Ethical Ways: Of course, sometimes there are things that we either need, or desperately want. Whether it be school supplies, food, clothes etc., we must always remember that there alternatives to mass produced good, which are ethical and sustainable. For example, if you’re dying for piece of chocolate, try checking out Endangered Species Chocolate—the snack that gives back. Endangered Species Chocolate is the first American chocolate brand made with fully Fairtrade chocolate from West Africa, and is dedicated to committing itself to Fairtrade practices. Endangered Species has also donated more than $1.2 million to Wildlife Conservation organizations, and gives 10% of funds to conservation non-profits. This is just one example of how careful shopping can make you a more conscious consumer.
Consider Alternatives: When talking about conscious shopping, it’s important to consider everything behind the products you’re buying—especially it’s impact on the environment. There are so many products out there that we consider to be necessities for everyday life, but don’t even think about how our use of them impacts the world around us. From sandwich bags, to plastic wrap to garbage bags, our houses and shopping carts are riddled with amenities that may be necessary, but aren’t necessarily sustainable. So, instead of standard plastic sandwich bag, try checking out BlueAvocado’s (re)zip leakproof reusable storage bags. And rather than using plastic wrap to save your food, consider investing in Bee’s Wrap. And to throw everything away, forget about your typical black garbage bag and instead grab some 100% recycled and biodegradable trash bags from Reuseit.
While going green and becoming a more conscious consumer does indeed require a bit more thinking than we’re used to as consumers, it makes a world of a difference.