How to Consume More Responsibly
Are you intrigued by the idea of shopping more consciously, sustainably, and responsibly? You might be surprised to learn that shopping and consuming in this way will not only positively impact society and leave a smaller environmental footprint, but it can also save you money. Here’s how you can do your part by shopping and consuming more responsibly.
It’s hard to stop shopping entirely, but a great option to do so responsibly is to shop secondhand. There are so many places you can now shop for secondhand items that go way beyond the limited options we used to have. A couple of our favorite ways to buy secondhand include:
- Local flea-markets and garage sales
- Online sites such as eBay, Craigslist, Poshmark, and ThredUp
- Goodwill and the Salvation Army stores
You can find almost anything secondhand nowadays, from clothing to furniture to everyday household items. By purchasing secondhand, you’ll save money and make use of another person’s discarded item, which would likely have ended up in a landfill if not for your purchase.
Buy Quality, Not Quantity
Another way to shop responsibly is to simply buy less. Even if you buy new items, it is more responsible to buy less than to spend money on fast fashion or one-time use items that you discard shortly after buying.
Try to buy only what you need and when you do buy something new, look for quality. You might have to spend a little more for a good quality item, but if that item will last you years and years, you will save money over time since you will not have to replace it quickly after you bought it.
Shopping local not only benefits local, small businesses, but it also is a responsible way to shop and consume. Many local businesses get all of their supplies and labor from the local area, meaning the total environmental impact of the business is less than one that relies on goods or labor from a developing country, for example.
In addition to shopping for organic food at a local farmer’s market (which is what you might think of when you think “local”), there are also markets that sell locally made clothing, homemade housewares, and almost anything you might need.
Check Your Labels
A simple way to shop responsibly is to check the labels on everything before you purchase it. There are independent organizations that certify whether a product is made up to its environmental and sustainability standards, and they will indicate this on the item by giving their stamp of approval.
For example, check your products for certifications by, among others:
- The Fairtrade Foundation
- The Soil Association (for organic products)
- The Vegan Society
Once you find a brand you like and know is certified by an organization you find trustworthy, it will be even easier going forward to shop sustainably and responsibly.
Every Little Bit Counts
Every small change we make as consumers to shop and consume more responsibly can add up to big changes overall. Not only that, but every dollar saved can help us make a dent in our overall personal debt, as well.
If you are struggling with consumer debt, consider seeking help from a debt relief company, who can help you with debt consolidation, debt settlement or other debt relief programs. With their help, combined with these small changes, you will be well on your way to living a more responsible and debt-free life.