In today's world, consumers hold a great amount of power. With that power, though, comes great responsibility. Conscious consuming ensures that the power you hold is used solely for good.
Conscious consuming aims to improve the impact of mass consumerism on the world. By being more mindful of what you buy, you can make the world a better place for everyone.
Here's what you need to know to become a more conscious consumer.
A Crash Course in Conscious Consuming
The global consumer market does some good – like helping people meet basic needs – but consumerism also creates several negative effects. From wreaking havoc on the environment to making it harder for the impoverished to stay afloat, mass consumerism is harmful to more than just the planet.
The goal of conscious consuming is to mitigate the negative effects of consumerism while promoting the positive ones. What may sound like a hugely complicated process is actually quite simple.
Conscious consuming is the practice of being aware of the social, environmental, and economic consequences of buying a product. Armed with that knowledge, consumers can choose to buy products – and invest in companies – that are socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.
For instance, if you were to buy more bamboo products to benefit the environment, you would be consciously consuming.
How You Can Be a More Conscious Consumer
Being a more conscious consumer is actually pretty easy and only requires a bit of research. Research may involve going online to look at the labor practices of your favorite toilet paper company or simply reading the label on the side of a can.
Conscious consuming is all about knowing what you're buying. Reading up on products and companies will help you make informed buying decisions that benefit the world around you.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Look at Third-Party Certifications
Nearly every food product in the supermarket claims to be beneficial in one way or another. Some claims are legit and others... not so much.
To be a more conscious consumer, it's crucial to understand what various claims mean and how they affect the world socially, environmentally, and economically.
For example, Fair Trade Certified ensures price stability so that farmers are able to reinvest in themselves and their businesses.
Companies who claim to be Certified B Corporations make conscious consuming even easier because they are legally obligated to consider how their decisions affect their workers, consumers, and communities. They must also meet the highest standards of public transparency and social and environmental performance.
Being familiar with different labels and what they mean gives you the knowledge to make more informed buying decisions.
For conscious consumers, it's important to understand what prices mean. You may be thrilled to find a great deal, but be aware that the lowest price is almost never the fair price.
"Behind a $13 shirt, a $6-an-hour worker." – LA Times
A 2017 Los Angeles Times article looked into the relationship between inexpensive clothing and underpaid workers and found that many factory workers – in the U.S. and abroad – were being paid far less than the 2017 federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
In fact, one Southern California worker made as little as $3.42 per hour sewing dresses.
A product's pricing directly correlates to how much its manufacturers make. Yes, conscious consuming will require you to pay a little more for things; however, your small investment in workers can improve their lives considerably.
Dig Deeper Into Your Favorite Brands
One of the best ways to be a more conscious consumer is to explore the brands that you regularly buy from.
With a treasure trove of knowledge at your fingertips, the internet is a great place to find out the labor, waste, and production practices of your favorite brands. You can even learn about any specific initiatives they've undertaken to improve the world around them.
Reel, for example, is a pillar of sustainability and humanitarianism. Using bamboo to produce high-quality, environmentally-friendly toilet paper, Reel is fighting for a greener tomorrow.
Furthermore, Reel helps communities by promoting sanitary bathroom practices and restoring people's dignity: For each roll of toilet paper bought, we provide someone in need with a single-use biodegradable toilet.
You can learn a lot about a company on the internet. Use that knowledge to buy products you believe in.
Conscious Consuming Can Change the World
Being aware of what you buy is important. When you familiarize yourself with how your favorite brand treats its workers and the environment, you can feel confident that your purchases are making a positive impact.
At the end of the day, if you arm yourself with knowledge, you'll have the power to make a real difference in the world.
To learn more about conscious consuming in your life, follow us on social media!