Each of us can participate in our own ways to contribute towards protecting our earth and the environment. One of the foremost is by being a conscious buyer. Conscious buying or consumerism is simply taking responsible buying decisions and leaving an impactful social, economic, and environmental footprint. This will keep us close to being sustainable. Waste pollution could be handled easily. Also, this will affect and lessen mass production and in turn mass consumption.
What is the impact of conscious buying? Or Why should one choose to do conscious buying? There are many reasons for that. The main would be the effect on our own health and on the environment.
If it's food products, then make sure to buy seasonally & locally grown with no pesticides. Buying locally and seasonally reduces the carbon footprint of importing and reduces waste. The use of insecticides and pesticides in our food has a huge impact on the health of humans and the biodiversity of the surrounding land and water. By choosing to buy the right product we help our farmers, help with fair trade, and help local markets.
If it's off-the-shelf products you are buying, make sure to buy one that is pure in its content with no preservatives and minimal or no packaging. Many chemicals and unnecessary preservatives seep into our system which leads to many terminal illnesses and the package inevitably ends up in the landfill.
If its clothes /shoes/bags/ lifestyle, go minimal, buy with intention, buy from brands that are ethical and sustainable, and buy toxin/plastic/chemical free. Buy things that speak to you and speak about your experiences. This would help curb overconsumption and in turn mass production. Most importantly, by choosing to buy consciously and ethically made products we reduce our carbon footprint, we can be sure that people are given safe work conditions, children are not exploited and workers are fairly paid.
There are some ways that can help us to be the conscious buyer.
Learn about the brand that you are investing in. Are they sustainable and circular? Are the products ethically sourced and clean/pure/organic? How are the people treated?
Learn about the product. What does it consist of? How is it made? Is it handmade or machine/factory-made? Where is it made?
Buy local. This helps the local farms/owners/artisans.
Buy second hand
Buy quality products. This ensures that the item runs long and is part of us.
Be Minimalist. Buy only if needed and when you do, buy the right product. This encourages us to live less wastefully. Repair and reuse are part of it.
It may be a small step but each step will make a difference eventually. We do not have to be perfect but keep trying to make a better future for generations to come. “All we have to do is wake up and change” - Greta Thunburg