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The first step on your journey to living an environmentally friendly life is learning to be a conscious consumer.
Not all products are what they seem . Greenwashing has become a big issue. Many families are working towards living a greener life but are unaware what they are buying is not eco friendly .
What is GREEN WASHING?
Green washing is when a company portrays a false sense of being eco friendly or being more environmentally friendly than they really are .
They spend more money and time advertising and labelling their products as green than they do actually working towards being greener.
They make the consumer believe they are supporting an eco friendly company or product when really the company has just re branded or created an environmentally damaging product .
A great example of greenwashing is biodegradable plastic / bio plastics .
Biodegradable plastics do not fully degrade but instead just break down into smaller parts. The plastic is still there.
Bio plastics are not helping the problem they are contributing to it . The worst part is because of labelling and advertising people believe they are making an environmentally friendly choice .
This is why it Is so important to be aware of what your are buying and how you are buying it .
What is a Conscious Consumer ?
A conscious consumer is a person who looks past the label and branding of a product and does their research.
They are someone who wants to know who they are buying from and who they are supporting with their purchase .
Being conscious about what you are buying is how you change the world . Each time we support a truly green company we are putting our money in the hands of people who are trying to make a difference .
5 Ways To Become a Conscious Consumer
1. Understand Want vs. Need
In a world of over consumption It’s easy to feel you NEED things that you don’t .
This is something I have always struggled with .
Advertisements are aimed to make the consumer think they can’t live without a product . It’s not always easy to take a step back and realize you don’t need more stuff to be happy .
Most times the best thing you can do is walk away and think about the item for a while before making a purchase . Impulse buying is a big no. It wastes money and resources. Make sure the product will serve a purpose and actually be used before buying.
2. Do Your Research
It’s so easy to be mislead by a products labelling and assume we are making the right choice . If you stop buying on impulse you will have more time to do proper research of the company you will be supporting .
Always ask yourself :
Does this company share my morals ?
– No animal testing, sustainably made, eco friendly, minimal / eco packaging , working towards a greener future
Where / how are these items made ?
-Are their workers being paid fairly and working in safe working conditions?
– Is their environmental footprint large due to shipping over seas ?
Will the item last?
– Is it made of quality materials ?
– Will it be junk in a few months?
What Ingredients do they use ?
– Do they care about the health of their consumers and the planet?
After doing your research and asking yourself these questions , you have to decide if they are a company you want to support .
3. Know how to Properly Dispose of Products
Once an item is in the landfill it’s there forever .
Quality made furniture , toys , clothes , and household items if taken care of can be donated or resold .
Try to avoid Fast fashion , junky furniture , and
any other items that are not built to last and will end up in a landfill too soon .
Cardboard , bamboo , food waste , & compostable items can all be composted instead of thrown in the garbage .
Many of these items will not decompose properly if thrown in a plastic garbage bag.
Learning to compost is very important.
If an item can’t be donated or composted check to see if it can be recycled . Do some research and learn what can be recycled where you live .
The Information we need is easily available to everyone.
Eco friendly products such as bamboo toothbrushes are starting to be widely available at most stores.
Instead of buying toothbrushes that go in the garbage why not buy toothbrushes that are made from natural eco friendly materials? Materials that can go back in the earth when we are finished with them.
Check out my blog post : How to Properly Dispose Of a Bamboo Toothbrush
Companies that think about how their product will be disposed of are companies I love to support.
4. Understand that cheaper isn’t always better
In order for a product to be sustainably made ,for workers to be paid a fair wage and have a safe working space , for packaging and products to be eco friendly , for items to be quality , for items to be made locally , and for the company to truly make an impact you need to spend a little extra money .
You can’t get all these things and still expect a cheap price tag .
This one is tricky because everyone has a different budget .
If you are only purchasing what you need and buying quality and sustainable items you will need to buy less and in the end you will save money.
This is a big one when it comes to fashion !
The fashion industry is destroying our planet by making cheap disposable clothing .
Buying quality clothes that last will save you money long term.
Shopping second hand is completely zero waste!
Instead of creating a demand for something new you are giving an item a new life .
This is a huge part of being a conscious consumer.
If you are a big shopper, just love to buy things , or need something thrifting is an amazing choice .
Check our my blog post :
to learn more about why shopping used is so important and how fast fashion is destroying our planet.
Just because we can’t achieve the zero in zero waste doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference. Being conscious of what we buy is a HUGE step towards a greener future.