Home and DIY, Musings
Leave a Comment

What a Waste: How to be a Conscious Consumer

art installation at the Louvre paris of a woman with a large pile of clothes

Do you think twice about the stuff you buy? I’m not just talking about the price factor, but also the value of the product in how it will enrich your life and the product’s life cycle. Do the resources utilised in the making then disposing of it justify its use?

Conscious consumerism in India and the world is on the rise. As festive sales are being heavily advertised, it’s a good time to reflect on how you can be a more conscious consumer.

Conscious Consumption Definition

What is conscious consumerism? As the name suggests, any consumer of products who, along with price and quality, also considers these products’ social and environmental impact. A product’s life cycle, from production to disposal, is as strong an influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions as to its need.

The Rise of Conscious Consumerism

The consumer model is slowly shifting. Many customers want to focus on conscious consumerism—a buying practice driven by a commitment to making purchasing decisions with a positive environmental, economic, and social impact. 

More people want to buy from businesses that do not compromise their workers’ well-being, harm animals or the environment for financial profits. 

The rise of the conscious consumer is just the first step to making systemic changes and asking for better policy changes from governments and corporations.

Check out Kamana Gautam’s Instagram page for inspiration and suggestions on brands and sustainable living.

Beware the Greenwashing

Many businesses are taking notice and changing their marketing strategies to appeal to the conscious consumer market. However, beware of the companies that only preach or do the bare minimum while polluting, underpaying, and harming their stakeholders.

Check out this post that explains it well:

The Benefits of Conscious Consumerism

When you are more aware of what and how you consume, less waste ends up in landfills and water bodies. Deforestation can be reduced drastically as well. Textile waste and microplastics are the banes of environmentalists – they end up everywhere, including the fish you eat. There are endless benefits to you and the ecosystem as a whole when we, each of us, practice and preach conscious consumerism.

Ways to Be a Conscious Consumer

How can a consumer be more conscious? Here are some pointers to think about before making your next purchasing decision

  • Do you need it, and how many times will it be used?
  • For everyday products, consider how they’re made and packaged.
  • Choose to buy from companies that promote sustainability.
  • Choose fair-trade and cruelty-free products so you know people who make the products are being paid a fair wage, and no living being is harmed in the process.
  • Look for sustainable and compostable materials. Biodegradable labels can be misleading. Verify before buying.
  • Reuse or opt for pre-loved items as far as possible.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics and stock up on reusable containers, cutlery, or bags instead.

Have a listen to these short podcast episodes. I would recommend listening to the whole series on Spotify – it’ll hardly take an hour. They give you a gist of the problem and how we can tackle it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s