Recent reports reveal that there’s never been a better time to begin one’s conscious consumerism journey. In a 2018 survey conducted by Futerra, 88% of consumers in the UK and the U.S. wanted brands to help them be more environmentally friendly and ethical in their daily life.
Thanks to the green movement, talks about sustainability, and consumer activism across the world, brands are starting to listen, giving individuals more opportunities to practice mindful buying. If you are looking to begin your ethical journey as a consumer, here is a step-by-step guide to follow:
Start with Your Favorite Brands
Ideally, you should look for B Corp certification in brands when shopping. But let’s face it: Not everyone can afford the extra time and money that should go into researching brands in the market. If you are pressed for time and are on a budget, start by examining your favorite brands.
Are you wearing cosmetics from vegan makeup brands? If you are advocating for animal welfare, you might need to let go of your favorite cosmetic product and switch to an ethically sourced alternative.
Embrace a Minimalist Lifestyle
Minimalism has been taking the interior design industry by storm for years now. On the surface, the movement encourages consumers to live with less stuff. Still, if you look at things from another perspective, it’s all about focusing on the experience, not on the material things you own.
You can start embracing minimalism by having your appliance repaired rather than rushing to the store to find a brand-new replacement. If you are buying clothes for a one-time occasion, give your neighborhood thrift store a visit and shop for old pieces.
Personal challenges, like The Year of Less and the Buy Nothing Project, are also a great way to jumpstart your minimalist lifestyle. Remember that the idea is to lessen your environmental impact by not buying things you don’t need.
Find Opportunities to Go Green
Today, it is easy to find opportunities to choose the greenest options. Although environmentally friendly products can be expensive (and justifiably so), you can go green by bringing your own bag when shopping, storing your files in the cloud rather than printing them, and buying in bulk when you can to lessen your waste. Instead of buying from fast fashion brands, try to buy quality pieces that will last longer and can be used by the next generation.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you might need to give up some of the luxuries in life. For example, instead of driving a car to work, try walking, bicycling, or sharing a ride with a co-worker. In Sweden, some people even embrace the No-fly Movement; travelers are encouraged to travel closer to home to avoid contributing to airplane pollution.
In the end, remember that you do not need to make significant lifestyle changes to become a conscious consumer—it starts the moment you decide that the greenest, most ethical, and mindful option is the best one.