Mindless consumerism is depleting Earth’s resources, creating a shallow spiritual environment, and wasting money. Mindful consumers think more carefully about where their money goes, how it is used, and whether its manufacture and final product impacts negatively on our planet.
Here are some guidelines to help you on your way to being a mindful consumer:
1. Buy only what you need if you want to be a mindful consumer
Don’t over-consume. There’s nothing wrong with buying things, but do so with some forethought. Do you really NEED it, or do you just WANT it? Maybe you can actually do without it and still be happy!
2. Consider the consequences of your purchase
In order to be a mindful consumer, consider the consequences of your purchase on your own life, the lives of others, and the general health of the planet.
Can your purchase be recycled? Is it biodegradable? When this purchase has outlived its usefulness, will it become landfill waste? If so, is that preventable (some things, like medical supplies, cannot be avoided)?
Was this product produced ethically? If you are shopping for shoes, for instance, you may wish to research production and labour practices of the brands you desire. If you want to be a mindful consumer, such as being concerned as to where the item was produced, find out whether the employees of the company concerned were paid properly and worked under fair and ethical working conditions.
Was this product produced with environmental sustainability? If so, you will be helping to minimise waste and the unnecessary manufacture of potentially damaging products.
3. Choose products with Fair Trade, organic, or eco-friendly labelling
Supporting these products is a mindful act consumerism, because it shows that you care about the production methods and impact of the products that you consume.
4. Shop locally to be a mindful consumer
Support local retailers, co-ops, farmersâ?? markets, flea markets, garage sales, thrift/charity shops and other non-profit-making organizations. This will help your local community rather than support multinational corporations. You will also help to cut down the carbon emissions of products imported from around the world.
5. Dispose of items mindfully
Recycle, reuse, restore, replenish or give the things you donâ??t need any more to a needy person. This will help to minimise items that have to go to the landfill.
6. Encourage others to be mindful consumers
This won’t be easy as some people refuse to worry about the issues surrounding the rampant consumerism facing many first-world countries today.
However, set your own standards with regard to being a mindful consumer, and you might find that others may possibly decide to follow by example.
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