– by Dnyanada Deodare
‘CONSCIOUS’ Consumption/ Consumerism’ is NOT about depriving yourself, nor is it a competition to see who has the most virtuous shopping list. It is about recognizing the power that YOU have, as a consumer of goods and services, in influencing business to be more sustainable, ethical and accountable.
Below are the 8 simplest habits to start with!
1. Bring Your Own Bags! This a foremost habit, we must get a hang of! If you use your own reusable bags or reuse old plastic bags, you can decrease our carbon footprint by 2.5+ kg each month. Keep one in your car and purse, so you are never without a reusable bag when you need one. If you must use the store-provided plastic bags, you can send ‘em to us later so we can UPCYCLE ‘em into beautiful HANDWOVEN Utility products!
2. Hold your brands and yourself accountable! How come so many brands and companies don’t care about their business ethics? Because they think YOU don’t care about their ethics… and in a lot of cases, they’re right. Do we care about where & how our favourite brands manufacture their products?
3. UPCYCLE or RECYCLE Your Old Belongings! Turn your old clothes into floor mats, quilts, pillows… and the possibilities are endless for an endless list of stuff that we mistake for USE & THROW.
4. Carry your own Cutlery! “It’s just one straw”, said 8 billion people. And triple that number because that’s how many spoons & forks we use while eating out! With restaurants every half a mile, isn’t it convenient to carry our own cutlery instead?
5. Heard of Green Washing? Yeah, not all brands preach what they teach! Many brands claim they’re an organic brand and still use chemicals and artificial colors in their processes. And there’s only one way to save ourselves from these frauds; to Google up that brand before ‘casting your vote’ of shopping with them!
6. Shop Seasonal! Shop Local! Farmers’ markets are a great example of shopping locally, which can reduce your carbon footprint and help support local businesses. In fact, shopping this way can help prevent excess trash in landfills and prevent further use of fossil fuels.
7. What about the Packaging? The actual product is not the only thing you need to pay attention to, you must also look at the packaging. Think about how much you throw out every time you buy something new.? Start by repurposing everything you can. Avoid buying any products that come in a lot of unnecessary packaging. Shopping locally helps this to a large extent!
8. Give gifts that give twice! Gifts can be tricky when they’re for Mr. I have everything already or Ms. Way too picky! Anyway, it’s always best to give a gift that adds moral values to the product, and to the person receiving it. Spoil ‘em good, eh?
So PROMISE to support Businesses that are in line with their CONSCIENCE?