Conscious consumerism is the process of buying from brands that promote sustainable and eco-friendly products. In essence, this movement intends to balance the possible negative impacts of consumerism on the planet.
Some companies and organizations promote sustainable and earth-friendly products by selling organic crops, second-hand clothes, cruelty-free hygiene products, and many more. Some also provide better alternatives for those who want to minimize their wastes. For example, companies
like Cosier help consumers choose better products that are less harmful to the planet.
Does Conscious Consumerism Have Any Significant Impact?
Although it may not seem relevant to make more eco-friendly choices as an individual, being more conscious about consumer choices may have a significant global impact.
Based on Nielsen's Global Corporate Sustainability Report in 2015, 66% of consumers are willing to purchase from sustainable sources even if it costs them more. In addition, 73% of millennials have similar preferences with their shopping habits.
This preference by consumers may have an impact on marketing strategies. A survey conducted in 2020 by Marketer's Toolkit found that 75% of brands agree on taking a stand on social issues, while almost half of Unilever's top 40 brands are focusing on sustainable practices.
The shift in consumers' purchasing habits may have opened opportunities for many small-scale businesses and local brands. There are now a number brands that promote conscious consumption by selling more earth-friendly items. Organic skincare products, plastic-free goods, and even fresh produce free from artificial pesticides are now available for consumers who want to shop sustainably.
How To Practice Conscious Consumerism
If you want to be a more conscious consumer, then you can practice the following:
- Purchase from a local market for your fresh vegetables and fruits, instead of buying from supermarkets. Your food will most likely be free of pesticides since it will be grown by local farmers.
- Be more mindful about the products you want to buy. Before buying anything, it's best to consider first if it's a want or a need. When spending your money to shop, think about how long you can use it and if it can improve your life quality.
- Buy from companies that prioritize the planet and the people. There are brands, especially small businesses, that promote environmental-friendly products, so try to look for one available near your area. Not only are you contributing to the planet, but you're also helping small entrepreneurs make a living.
- Try to grow your garden. It may seem too much work at first, but once you have a backyard full of fresh vegetables, you'll appreciate the costs you can save from growing your own food.
- Choose products made with organic materials, such as bamboo bed sheets or wooden toothbrushes, rather than products made with synthetic materials.
- Stray away from cosmetics and hygiene products that are not cruelty-free.
- Try to eliminate the use of single-use plastics in your lifestyle. Buying a cup of coffee? Bring your own tumbler instead of getting your coffee on a plastic cup with a disposable straw.
- Learn to upcycle any old items you have, if you can. In case you have clothes that you don't wear anymore, don't throw them. Instead, look for organizations or foundations that accept clothes as donations.
Becoming a conscious consumer doesn't have to mean making considerable changes in your life. You can take small steps in helping the environment by choosing more eco-friendly alternatives to goods you usually buy and consume.
Conscious consumerism may still be far from making a significant impact on the current condition of the environment. However, choosing more eco-friendly products can also influence more people to become mindful consumers and, possibly, help contribute to making the world a more sustainable and better place.