How to be a better consumer in 9 steps.
First of all, why would you want to be a better consumer? And why does it matter how you consume? Who cares if you buy from a mega supermarket instead of from a local supplier? Our actions influence the way the world is changing shape. Globalization is a reality and it means regional diversity is diminishing, along with our unique identity.
As a snowball starts with just one flake, so will revolutionary change start with a small gesture. If we want to get rid of mass consumerism, we need to start somewhere. We might not see the end of the road now, but if we stay focused and inspired, we will achieve greater and better things than we ever imagined.
– Support local businesses. When you buy from local shops, you support your region financially, so that it can grow stronger and accommodate more businesses which means more employment and general growth for the region. In a world where communities are starting to look the same because of mass production, commercial chains and franchises, it is imperative to support smaller business. This will create strong communities that are built on long lasting and community inspired ties. This counters the trend where large corporations seek short term commercial gains without developing or supporting the region they occupy.
– Eat seasonal. Seasonal vegetables and fruit taste better, are higher in nutritional value and they are cheaper, because more readily available.
– Do it yourself. Try making your own candles, brewing your own beer, bottling your own pickles. It’s even more fun if you do this with your friends or family. You will understand better how much effort goes into the making of a product and what the true value of that product is. It will stop you (and your kids) that not everything needs to be disposable. It might save you money to make something yourself and it will give you a real sense of achievement to know you have made a useful product from scratch.
– Recycle. This is the obvious one and we all know we should, but sometimes it’s just easier to throw everything in the same bin than to separate dutifully. Make it easier for yourself by setting up a recycle infrastructure in and around your house. Make a separate bin for glass, paper and plastic and make sure everyone in your household knows what to recycle and how. If you have a garden, make a compost heap. You’ll be surprised to see how little normal waste you have at the end of the week.
– Be the change. Set an example for everyone around you, teach your kids. Practise what you preach. It is not enough just say you will change your habits, you need to put it into practice.
– Reset your priorities. Do you really need everything you buy? Maybe you can wait another season before buying a new set of clothes. And why not book your holiday a bit closer to home?
– Study the way your forefathers lived and see what you can learn from them. Times were simpler then, household items were homemade and durable and being overweight was an exception due to the physical labour that came with everyday living. No need to go Amish, but there might be a clue there to a healthier life.
– Buy morally; look at the countries that supply the goods you buy. Do you really want to support these countries, do you know and support their politics? Global consumerism comes with a conscience and you must be aware of the choices you make.
– Think about wastage, plastic bottles and bags. A way to make a difference while shopping is to take note of the packaging. A reason for buying a product can be the fact that the packaging contains less plastic. A glass bottle can be reused and recycled.
Find Marisa on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Basic-Stock-Deli/351929231489713?fref=ts / Marisa, thank you for always having delicious organic chicken pies 🙂