Conscious Consumer

Conscious Consumer – Part 1

I think it is important to be a conscious consumer.  To me that means:

  1. Not over consuming, i.e. don’t buy it just because it’s on special.
  2. Where possible to know the impact of what I’m buying. That can mean different things depending on the type of product I’m looking at.  It can be the products environmental impact, it’s food miles (how far it’s travelled) or the health and wellbeing of those that made/grew the product (ie fairtrade and/or organic).

This to me is a sensible and practical way to live and something that I thought most people around me would be striving for.

However, recently in conversation with some acquaintances/friends it was implied that I was a Hippy.  This completely threw me – me a Hippy?  All because I was saying I preferred my clothing to be natural fibres and a subsequent conversation about reusable sandwich wraps rather than using single use cling wrap – a Hippy – really?

This conversation kept coming back to me so I decided to look up the definition of Hippy, here it is:

HIPPY – (especially in the 1960s) a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.

Now if you know me you will know that most of my clothes are black (90% black organic cotton t’s to be honest) and there are no beads anywhere on my person.  I have been known to have a glass or more of wine which can lead to some delusions but definitely not hallucinations.

So I’m pretty sure I don’t fit in with the dictionary definition of a Hippy.  What I am striving for is to be a conscious consumer.  I want to make a difference.  A difference to my family, my friends, my community and the planet.

Being a Conscious Consumer doesn’t have to be complicated.  There are simple ways to make changes for good:

  1. Buy local – this means you support local workers and families and the environment at the same time as the product travels less distance.
  2. Consider the use of the product – is it single use (ie cling wrap). Is there an alternative (yes there are many J).
  3. Re-use whenever you can. When you finish with your jars keep them and use them to store foods.  They work great in the pantry, fridge and freezer and you can see what’s in them.

A great way to improve your awareness of anything is to talk about it.  When you find a product/store that supports our community and our planet tell your friends, tell your neighbours, even tell your enemies J.

We all have power to bring about change.

You have the power.  Use it.