The world of consumerism is constantly expanding, with more and more products being released every day. But with all this choice comes a responsibility to shop responsibly. Read on to learn all about ethical consumption and how to be an ethical consumer.
What is Ethical Consumption?
Ethical consumption is about making conscious decisions when buying and consuming goods and services. It means considering the environmental, social and economic implications of what you’re buying. This means looking into the working conditions where the product was made, sourcing materials ethically, reducing packaging waste and considering the environmental impact of the product.
Research Before You Buy
Before you buy something, research its origin and how it’s been made. Check whether any of the materials were sourced ethically and if the working conditions in the production were safe and sustainable. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either; most companies will be happy to answer any inquiries you may have.
Buying second-hand items is a great way to be an ethical consumer. It helps to reduce the demand for new items which, in turn, reduces the amount of resources that go into production. Shopping second-hand also allows you to recycle items, preventing them from ending up in landfill.
Opt for Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Whenever possible, opt for eco-friendly alternatives. Look for items that are energy-efficient or made from natural or recycled materials. Avoid products that contain toxic substances like phthalates and BPA, as these can be damaging to our health and the environment.
Support Local Businesses
Shopping local is always a good idea. Supporting small, independent business means that you know exactly where your purchases are coming from. It also means helping the local economy and reducing emissions by reducing the need to ship goods long distances.
Look for Fair Trade Labels
The Fair Trade label is a guarantee that the product has been ethically sourced. It ensures that the workers producing the items have received a fair wage, safe working conditions and their rights have been respected.
Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a huge problem across the world, so make sure to only buy what you need and reduce the amount of food you throw away. Try batch cooking meals or freezing leftovers so they can be reused later. Don’t forget to compost too, to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill.
Being an ethical consumer is an important part of looking after our planet and respecting people’s rights. We can all make a difference by researching before we buy, shopping second-hand, opting for eco-friendly alternatives, supporting local businesses, looking for fair trade labels and reducing food waste.