Now is an important time in human history to be aware of how your consumption affects the world. Many resources may be in crisis in the next few decades, so it’s important that habits begin to change now. One way you can help is by becoming a conscientious consumer—someone who is self-aware of their habits and makes changes in those habits that are better for the earth or other people.
Here are 10 steps you can follow to become a more conscientious consumer…
Choose to do with less: One of the first things you can do to consume more ethically is to consume fewer items. Cut out the items that you don’t need.
Learn about the names behind the products you buy: The manufacturers of your products are easy to find. Research their names with your preferred search engine to learn more about them. Stop buying brands that aren’t in line with your values.
Create a list of manufacturers/brands you trust: To make ethical consumption easy, make a list of the brands that you trust based on the research you’ve done.
Continue to hold your favourite companies responsible: Make an effort to be aware of the companies you choose to purchase from. If their behaviour changes and they are no longer consistent with your values, make sure that you stop buying from them.
Choose products that are produced sustainably: There are many companies that produce products in a sustainable way, or craft them from sustainable materials. Try to choose these companies whenever possible.
Choose products that can be recycled: Recycled products are always marked with the international recycling symbol. Watch for it to help you choose recycled products.
Choose locally-produced products: Choosing local products allows you to support your own community while ensuring that products don’t have to travel far. A lot of waste is produced shipping products around the globe, so a local preference can.
Network with friends to share used products: Instead of throwing out used products, create a network to share items that are no longer needed with your friends. Baby clothes, child’s toys and old furniture are great trading items. Donation to a charitable organisation is another option that avoids waste.
Choose durable products: Whenever possible, choose the products that are designed to last. Even if it means paying more once, not needing to replace an item for a longer amount of time means both lower costs and less waste in the long term.
Provide proper maintenance for your products: Another part of choosing durable products is giving them the maintenance they need to last for their full lifetime. Even if it’s inconvenient, the proper maintenance guidelines for anything from cars to appliances should be followed closely.
Start Becoming an Ethical Consumer Today
Changing habits can be hard, but the reward for responsibility is a better world for all of us. Make an effort to become a more conscientious consumer today.