To start off, what do you understand by the term conscious consumer? According to The New York Times, “Conscious consumption is an umbrella term that simply means engaging in the economy with more awareness of how your consumption impacts society at large. Shopping sustainably, with the intent to preserve the environment, is one way to consume more consciously.”
Being a conscious consumer is one way how you can project your voice to create change and to help combat climate change and making a difference in social issues.
TIP 1: Buy less
The best part about your decision to be a mindful consumer is that you will save quite a bit of money. Making sure to limit your purchases to what you really need rather than what you fancy will help minimise your impact on the planet.
TIP 2: Buy Second-hand
Buying second-hand can have a great impact on the planet, especially in the fashion industry. According to Business Insider, the fashion sector generates 10% of global carbon emissions, this accounts for more carbon than international aircraft and marine transportation combined. Second-hand shopping is one of the best ways to decrease your environmental effect. Not only will you be saving the planet but also your money. Exchange clothes with your friends if you want a new outfit, or visit the numerous Facebook pages where people exchange items they no longer want or need such as:
TIP 3: Invest in the long-term
Sometimes you might have a bit of a shock at the prices when looking for sustainable options. However, they are often expensive to buy initially, but they may help you save a lot of money down the road, since quite a few sustainable options are reusable. A few examples are reusable nappies (read our article on green parenting tips), menstrual products, safety razors, and reusable cotton pads (more information in our plastic-free bathroom article). So, start to see the bigger picture and see how much money you can save over the coming months and years.
TIP 4: Shop ethical, not just sustainable
Your purchasing decisions have the power to make the world a more equitable place for everyone. So besides purchasing sustainable and eco-conscious items, also keep in mind to shop from businesses run by POC (People of colour, meaning not white). You can also support businesses that treat their employees fairly and don’t employ people who are not paid justly for their work.
TIP 5: Repair your things!
Extending the life cycle of your goods is our final key tip to be a conscious consumer. Some companies like Patagonia offer lifetime repair warranty to encourage you to keep the things you buy. Also, the internet and YouTube are great sources of information about how you can also fix stuff up yourself – which is a lot easier than you might think!
Being a conscious consumer is just one puzzle piece of the fight against climate change, however it is an extremely important step on your sustainability journey. Keep researching and learning more useful tips by following our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Source: Achanta, 2020, 5 Ways to be a conscious consumer, https://globein.com/blog/5-ways-conscious-consumer/ [Accessed 8 October 2021]
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