Are You A RESPONSIBLE Consumer?
Our planet is changing at an alarming rate and we are all responsible for it. Sound scary isn’t it to carry such a heavy burden on our shoulders? But what if every one of us can carry out small responsibilities to make it a better world? How about living consciously to protect the environment by becoming a responsible consumer for a start?
So the next time you are out shopping, keep people and the earth’s well-being top of your mind by following these simple to implement suggestions. Remember, each and everyone of us can make a change.
Be Socially Aware
Becoming conscious on how you spend your money, and how it influences the products and services available to you is a good place to start. Take some time to find out the origins of the food you eat regularly, and also the practices of the shops, stores and restaurants you frequent. Consciously taking time to become more aware will give you a fresh perspective that influences your buying habits.
Be A Shopper With Conscience
The next time there is a sale, slow down, take a deep breathe and ask yourself, “Do I really need another blouse, dress, shoes, or whatever?” If you do, make sure, as a responsible shopper the items are produced from an ethical stand; without slave or sweatshop labour, environment friendly, organic, made from natural sources, or one that supports a progressive cause.
Best of all you are able to taste the freshest produce by buying local since much of the food you buy at the supermarket comes from thousands of miles away. Furthermore by supporting local farmers, you not only help to create healthy vibrant communities but also lessen the cost of transportation and tax. You will also encourage your local economy and culture.
Grow Food At Home
Although not always practical if you reside in an apartment or condo but it’s worth a try. Start a vegetable garden or start growing your own herbs. This will save you money, and gives you satisfaction for lovingly growing your own vegetables. Also, you help reduce plastic wastage as most vegetables and spices come packaged.
Buy Directly From The Source
If you buy from your local farmers’ market, you will get the freshest products but also a sense of security knowing how your products are grown. Your support will also inspire the local farming communities to produce better quality products aside from purchasing your items at a price much lower compared to buying at a supermarket.
There are two important benefits in bulk buying. One, it enables you to save time and two, you use less plastic. Imagine reduced driving time and waiting in queue. However it requires storage space for all the items, and proper planning.
Cut Back On Meat
Buying and eating foods that reduce your impact on the environment is not difficult. By reducing your intake of red meat did you know that you will help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions associated with raising animals for feed? According to environmentalist David Suzuki, just 10 ounces of beef requires 85 times more water than the same amount of potatoes, and Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic (Random House, 2007) explains that “Livestock produce more greenhouse gases than cars, trains, planes and trucks combined while burping and passing wind.” Why not go vegetarian at least one day a week to help you reach this goal?
Buy At A Local Butcher
Look for meat from free-range poultry or animals that have been fed an organic diet. If this is not available, you are still making a sustainable food choice buying from local butcher as it avoids food that needs to travel many miles to reach you.
Use Less Plastic
Although it is hard to fathom our lives totally without plastic, you can however help reduce its usage by being less dependent on plastic bags or bring your own shopping bag and decline plastic bags if you can.
Buy Non Animal Tested Products
Although it attracts some debate, but according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in outdated product tests for shampoos, household cleaners, cosmetics, hairspray, and other personal care and household items. Worse, these tests often produce inaccurate or misleading results when used on human. As a consumer you can decide to support companies that do not do animal testing.
Part of being a conscious shopper is being a responsible shopper. Use the food that you purchased wisely and only cook enough for your family to eat and save your leftovers.
Have A Green Celebration
Avoid celebration that requires pile of wrapping paper and packaging. Consider reusing gift boxes, wrapping papers, fabrics, ribbons that you have stacked away. Be creative. A small and conscientious effort is a huge step to help protect our planet.