What does it mean to be a conscious consumer?
A conscious consumer is someone who is aware of why they purchase a product, what impact the product’s existence has on the planet and on other beings, and how to make choices that do the least harm.
Staying conscious requires curiosity, compassion, and patience. It is an ongoing, undulating practice rather than a finish line. While this can be frustrating at times, it also means you can start being a conscious consumer right now.
Why is unconscious consumption a problem?
The consumption of goods, foods, and information is part of our natural interaction with the environment and with each other. Most modern economies are built on the production and trade of goods. The problem is not that we consume, it’s why, what, and how we consume.
Today, it is easy to consume without being conscious—as individuals and as communities—of the need we are trying to fill and of the negative impact that the products we consume can have.
While the consumer practices of our recent past have brought needless environmental damage, human exploitation, and animal suffering, they do not need to be our future.
How you can be part of the solution...
The solution lies in waking up to the consumer practices we see and even partake in every day. The solution lies in getting curious about consumer norms, being compassionate toward others and the impact consumption has on them, and discovering how your skills and passions can help reshape a healthier culture. The solution lies in connecting with others over a shared understanding that we can do better. That, in fact, many of us already are doing better.