What comes to mind when you think of how to be a conscious consumer? Stop a second and ask yourself, what are the words that pop up? Ideas? Feelings? I think supporting ocean friendly brands, voting with my dollar, understanding the supply chain and thinking of my health first. In this post we will talk about what a conscious consumer is and how you can become one if you aren’t already! Here’s a great post on reducing plastic.
Download your free guide to a non-toxic and plastic-free kitchen!
Conscious Brands I Love and Support
REBBL – 100% recycled and recyclable bottles + organic, ethical and sustainably sourced ingredients and adaptogens (code SIMPL15)
Synergy – organic and recycled clothing
Happsy – GOTS certified organic cotton mattresses, bedding and covers (code HOLISTIC25)
Patagonia – organic and recycled clothing
Brilliant Earth – sustainably sourced jewelry (where my wedding ring is from)
Annmarie Skin Care – packaged in amber glass and shipped in sustainable materials
Farm Foods – ethically and sustainably raised organic meat
Branch Basics – chemical free household cleaners without fragrance or toxins (code SIMPLHOLISTIC)
Solti – cold pressed organic juices and shots stored in glass bottles (code SIMPLHOLISTIC)
Loving Earth Chocolate – organic chocolates packaged in recycled and compostable materials
Seed – soil based probiotics that come in in compostable packaging like mushroom padding and glass containers (code SIMPLHOLISTIC)
Practices of A Conscious Consumer
Think first. That’s the very first practice I encourage you to implement. When we think first we:
- analyze purchases
- consider who made X product
- ask questions about ingredients
- take into account chemicals used
- remember people are people no matter how far away they are
- realize we can support the earth with our buying choices
- support our health to our best ability
Free thinking is frowned upon these days and it’s terrifying! Kids in school are taught to think THIS way and do that math equation THAT way. They’ve cut funding for AP programs and critical thinking courses. When you think freely, you’re a threat. I guess I’m a threat.. probably why my social media accounts are censored daily. Free thinking is the answer for “how to be a conscious consumer”.
Ask questions. While this one is frowned upon as well, it’s great to ask questions. Here are the questions I ask before “consuming” or making a purchase:
- where did it come from? how far away is that?
- was it made with high quality ingredients/materials?
- who owns the company who made it?
- are the packaging materials sustainable?
- who was effected in the making of the product?
- is the company trustworthy and worth me giving my dollars to?
- will this serve me for longer than a second of “oooh shiny!”
- how will I dispose of the product once it’s worn out/broken/etc?
Consider people. Did you know that your $4 shirt on the sale rack from Target or other big box stores was made by people (usually women and children) who get paid cents on the dollar? Then, you take the shirt after a few wears and decide you don’t like it anymore. Gosh, you even throw it IN. THE. TRASH. (that’s another issue you can read about here). You don’t recycle it, reuse it or donate it.. it just goes in the trash.
Then, you go to the store looking for another “cheap find” and share about it on your Instagram. I can’t with this one, it really bothers me. A living person made that shirt, shoe, etc and when we treat the objects they made like crap, we are devaluing the maker. Thousands of people die in textile fabrics annually. From chemicals, accidents, starvation, beatings, collapses and more. We have to stop feeding this fast fashion industry and really fast anything! Do you know who makes your clothes?
Think nature. Is the product you’re buying made from toxic chemicals or was it treated and sprayed with dozens of harmful toxins to keep bugs off? Here’s what I look for:
- certified organic
- locally grown
- organic cotton
- phthalate free
- paraben free
- formaldehyde free
- GOTS certified
- fragrance free
- no synthetic anything
- sustainably made
- ethically sourced
- & the list goes on
Heal or hurt. Before I make any purchase, this is really what’s at the forefront of my mind. Will the product serve my health or sabotage it? This goes for clothes, food, cleaning products, cookware, furniture and hygiene products. Look at the label, can you pronounce the ingredients? Are their lots of numbers (which means man made)? Is there artificial anything? Are you intolerant to any of the ingredients?
I have a strict criteria for products that enter my home and body. You should too! You’re precious and your health should be coveted.
Download your free guide to a non-toxic and plastic-free kitchen!
How to be a Conscious Consumer – Things You Can Do Now
Start shopping local
This one’s so simple because you can get what you need locally! Whether it’s meat, produce, lumber, gifts, pet food or clothes, you can find it in your community. If you can’t go to the nearest community and find it there. The point is to put as little miles as possible on your product!
Thrift shop baby
People love this one because it’s super trendy right now! The coolest part is that people don’t understand the HUGE positive environment impact they are leaving. Not to mention, the cut in new clothes that need to be made. You can find more than clothes at thrift stores. Go there first and you’ll be surprised. Megan from @rootforfood and Anna from @annanunez are the thrift queens.
Say no the chemicals
Whether it’s your food, clothes or furniture… just say no. Next time you’re at the store, choose the organic apples vs. the conventional. Choose a shirt made with organic materials vs. the fast fashion one. In all reality, they aren’t that much more money these days. Used to, that’s wasn’t the case. But now… it’s completely affordable to live an organic lifestyle. For the first three years of our marriage we ate a 100% organic and GMO-free diet for $200 a month. It’s doable. You just have to choose what to say yes and no to. If you have questions on this, drop them below, I love to share my secrets!
Check out new options
If you can’t find anything local or you want to save money on healthier options, check out new stores that have discounted prices on healthy products. I love Thrive Market (my link gets you 25% off your first order!!). They stock everything from personal care products to food to pet supplies. It’s all discounted and they make huge efforts towards sustainability and the health of you and the planet.
Don’t beat yourself up or get overwhelmed
It can be a big change but I’m here for you, friend! Ask any questions you have in the comments below. Look around my blog for more guides and information. Never beat yourself up for what you didn’t know. Be gentle and patient with yourself. This is most important when asking yourself how to be a conscious consumer!
Great Resources to Look Into
The following are on instagram and these are their handles:
The following are books:
I hope you got the answers to your questions on how to be a conscious consumer. What are your favorite ethical products? Comment below!