The hectic world of today is driven by unconscious consumerism – the want for better and more of it! And of course, at a cheap price. At the same time, our desires have created a slippery slope leading deep into a pit, labeled “Environmental Crisis – Last Chance Sale 50% Off!” Some of us may choose to buy into this, others are more aware of ethical shopping and are cautious and skeptical, as we should be.
It is up to us to determine which way we slide. If we choose to keep buying products blindly from the shelves, based on price and visual appeal alone, then we are headed towards certain disaster. When we seek out sustainable products, we are not only benefiting our personal health, we are supporting all life and natural environments on Earth.
For decades, it has been known that eating organically produced food is the way to experience optimal health, we only need to go back a few generations to learn that it was all our great-great-grandparents had. Our modern food systems have become corrupted, just as textile production has, in the search for faster, more efficient ways of growing industry. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and honor our health as we nourish the land.
What if the fabrics of our clothing were organically grown too? What if all make-up, sunscreens, and feminine hygiene products were life-giving, rather than toxifying? What if the seas were not ebbing with plastic? If this was reality, today would look very different indeed.
Plastic pollution is becoming an increasing problem around the world, filling the oceans with things we have bought. Let’s not sit back and relax as it crawls up and over the land too.
Just like when decluttering your home, you must stop the flow of junk/clutter/unbelongings to establish order. To become ethical shoppers, we need to implement wise buying practices that can be taken with us to the store, applying them to online shopping as well.
4 rules of ethical shopping
Both in product material and in packaging. More companies are becoming responsibly aware, seek them out first before purchasing low-grade products destined for the landfill. Going plastic-free feels like a dream for many of us, while going zero-waste may feel completely out of reach, yet it is all easier than it seems – and difficult times call for serious choices. Once you begin to look for plastic-free options, they will start to find you.
Stop shopping for convenience items
Invest in the long-term future by looking at material purity. It may seem like a smart decision to buy a disposable razor, due to its cheaper price, though a metal safety razor will last for years to come. And those one-time use cotton pads? Make sure they are organic, better yet, opt for a reusable face cloth. Durability is a large part of the value, express your inner minimalist and take only what you need.
It’s all about the environmental policy
When companies are more focused on profits over cause, buyer beware. They may not be causing harm in your local environment, but the further abroad items are sourced from, the less control that can be harnessed over them. This includes destruction of beneficial rainforests, due to the overproduction of palm oil, as much as it has to do with workers rights and sweatshop factories. Do your investigative work before you buy, to make the best decision for you and the Earth.
The further everything you buy comes from, the more airline miles they are going to rack up – increasing your annual carbon emissions with every purchase. That being said, every purchase you make matters. Shop local, support small farmers and adopt a placebaseddiet as you grow your environmental conscience. Invest your money in the work of local artisans and craftspeople. Think about how you can reduce the carbon footprint of both food and physical belongings. Perhaps you will find that you already have more than enough, with plenty to share!
Of course, you can always plant native trees to offset your carbon emissions associated with travel, food miles and ethical shopping.
Becoming an ethical shopper brings you one step closer to becoming the sustainable change the world needs to see. More is not better, better quality is.
Go as green as you can manage, not one step less, for the future of tomorrow changes today.
Cheryl Magyar is a sustainability coach | sustainable lifestyle designer, dedicated to guiding introverts, families and small businesses turn their lives and work into ecologically fulfilling ones. Download her free 19-page guide My Sustainable Journey and get ready to live lighter on the Earth than you ever imagined possible. The time to go green is now!