According to a Nielsen’s Global survey, 46 percent of global consumers agreed they would be willing to pay more for goods and services from companies that give back to society.
As consumers, we have the opportunity to act as purchasing activists and use buying power as a form of social currency. Advertisements on TV, billboards and on the internet work hard to coerce us to purchase the next big thing. But the first question to ask yourself in order to avoid being the over-eager consumer is, "Do I really need this stuff?"
With each new decade, studies show we are accumulating more and more "stuff" and that hoarding has reached epic proportions. But clutter in the home has many disadvantages, taking away the space for the things you really need and creating distractions. Clutter is detrimental to your home environment health, can increase anxiety, and clog thinking. Consider donating items and clothing that you haven't worn in more than two years to start the process of eliminating the unnecessary. The optimal goal is to live with less stuff and to purchase things that are multipurpose.
When considering a purchase, ask all the supportive questions. Is this product reliable? Do I need it? If so, do I need it immediately or can I hold off for a few more week/months/years? Will it really help me? Do I already have something like it? Will it hold up long term? Will it set me back or put me into unnecessary debt? These are just some starter questions that will aid or dissuade you from making that purchase.
The next level of being a conscious consumer is having regard for what impact your purchase will have on the local community and the environment once disposed of, and the social and green initiatives of the brand or manufacturer. By looking at the manufacturers or brands and how they contribute to social good, we now take part in a larger conversation of how responsibility starts with our personal purchase power and extends.
Choose products that are made ethically, whether they are fair trade, cruelty free, organic, recycled, re-used, or produced locally. By doing so, you are supporting companies who have a socially conscious objective to make their local communities and environment better. Through positive buying, you can start to hold companies, large and small, accountable for their entire production ecosystem.
By committing to being a conscious consumer, you commit to being more productive, better informed, and an active activist for being your best self.