What does it mean to shop consciously? Why is it important? Where should you start?
Shopping consciously starts with just one purchase. It is the cognitive effort to purchase not only a better quality product, but to purchase something that you will use multiple times. It is the effort to also purchase with less waste in mind. Does the producer utilize an excess of unnecessary packaging or materials? Am I going to use the quantity that I am purchasing? These are the perfect questions to ask when working to shop more consciously.
Shopping more consciously has become a growing trend, but its also a majorly important one. As fast fashion and a more disposable lifestyle along with cheaper prices have influenced our purchases for over the last decade, we are finding we have left waste for the next generation. This has become a current affair, not to mention a habit that is just as difficult to break as it is endangering to our environment. According to a National Geographic article: it's estimated that around 37 percent of species could become extinct due to climate change related to consumerism. If this isn't enough motivation to start shopping more consciously, the article continues to explain that our increased consumerism has lead to more reliance on transportation, and credit to get those desired items are also having major effect.
This begs the question, Where do I start to eliminate my "throw away" mentality?
One of the best ways to do this is to either shop in bulk for non-perishables, or to find a local refill shop where you can reuse your own container to get daily necessities such as laundry soap and hygiene items. Think less packaging! Save that glass pickle jar after its empty, wash and use to fill with new goods at your local refill shop. Rather than buying new storage containers utilize your glass or nice plastic food containers again. When considering new clothing, think about how often you will utilize the piece and its durability. That $6 shirt from your local big box store can be paired with multiple outfits. If it's for a special occasion find something you could wear for other special occasions, not just the one event. Every little effort is a big step towards a more conscious lifestyle. We can't do it all, but we can work to do some!