Let’s assume you need a new set of cookware, a new party dress, or simply a new tube of toothpaste or a bag of coffee beans.
How do you choose which brand to purchase?
Advertising or a friend’s advice might sway your decision. Maybe you just purchase the same brand every time because your mother did or because it’s the only brand you’ve ever tried, and it’s the simplest option.
However, an increasing number of us are deliberating before making a purchase. We’ve heard that out-of-control consumerism is wreaking havoc on the environment. We all know that product safety isn’t always well-regulated and that businesses aren’t always concerned about our health and safety.
We’re concerned about manufacturing and farming methods’ social and environmental consequences.
We’d like to alter our purchasing patterns, but where do we begin?
We might begin by just becoming more aware of our purchasing selections.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER?
The notion of conscious consumption is not new, and there are several distinct definitions available on the internet.
This is how I see it: Before deciding what to buy, an aware consumer examines the health repercussions and the environmental and social impacts of a product.
A thoughtful shopper considers their options before making a purchase. They’re involved in the buying process and will ask a few questions before making a purchase:
Is this something that my family and I can do safely?
Is it causing any harm to the environment?
What is the societal impact?
Instead of buying goods, they don’t need, an aware consumer makes intentional, educated decisions.
An aware customer expects companies to be transparent and real and avoid items that do not align with their beliefs.
A wise shopper feels certain because they have done their homework and identified the greatest options for their family.
A responsible shopper prefers to be a part of the solution rather than the issue.
I’m guessing that most visitors to my blog are already mindful consumers in some form.
Perhaps you’ve replaced some harmful cleansers with better alternatives, or you’ve begun to use reusable containers instead of plastic wrap. Perhaps you’ve shifted to natural, non-toxic goods or invest in sustainable apparel instead of quick fashion.
Let’s look at what more you may do to make yourself a more socially conscious shopper…
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER?
First and foremost, being a conscientious consumer is not about being flawless. There is no requirement to pass an exam. There is no set route to follow.
Ultimately, being a conscientious consumer means concentrating on the most important values to you, informing yourself, and just doing your best within your time and financial limits.
My objective is to assist you in being the best conscientious shopper you can be! Here are my top ten recommendations for becoming a socially conscious, long-term consumer:
1.) Do Your Homework – Spend some time researching what you intend to purchase.
To understand the health and environmental effects of goods, consult reputable sources such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
2.) Understand Substances – You don’t have to be a scientist to know which ingredients and materials have been demonstrated to be dangerous to humans and the environment. There is a lot to learn about this topic however the following are the most important ones:
Hormone-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenols, and flame retardants are found in many items, from personal care to plastics to home furnishings.
Nonstick cookware and food packaging contain perfluorinated chemicals, which are possibly carcinogenic. Glyphosate and other pesticides have been linked to cancer. Heavy metals are neurotoxins that can hurt brain development.
Yes, these hazardous compounds are permitted in goods by law. It’s the wild west out there, so being well-informed is essential.
3.) Read Labels – Start reading product labels and ingredient lists like a hawk. Many terms like “natural” and “safe” are unregulated and essentially mean nothing. Look for full ingredient lists on cleaning products (not required by law – but the more transparent a company is, the better.) Steer clear the worst chemicals in beauty products and the worst additives and preservatives in food.
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to conscious shopping. This is only the first part of this article. Let us know in the comment if you want to read part two…