Becoming a conscious consumer involves asking yourself a series of questions prior to purchasing an item or product. As well as educating yourself on whether they are a brand whose ethos you want to support. Becoming a conscious consumer has a similar mindset to the practice of minimalism.
How to be a Conscious Consumer
How often will I use this? Daily, Weekly, Monthly?
If you’re considering purchasing an item, truly ask yourself how often you plan to use that item. For instance, I’ve been lusting after a juicer for a very long time. I very rarely buy juice. I don’t need a juicer.
When my Oma passed away, we were cleaning out her home. Low and behold she had a juicer that was in excellent used condition. Over the course of the year, I have used it once. Thankfully I didn’t purchase a brand new juicer.
How will this improve my life?
If an item won’t make your life easier and will inevitably end up on the shelf as clutter, it’s best to avoid it altogether. I don’t care how cute it is.
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Why do I want this?
Are you just falling for clever marketing or do you truly find happiness in this?
For a while I was purchasing nearly every new release from Aether Beauty. Aether Beauty is an amazing brand and they’re a great low-waste makeup option, but not when you buy everything they have. There’s only so much eye shadow the average person can wear on a daily basis.
Is this the most sustainable option?
Okay, so we’ve decided that you need this particular item. Great! Let’s take a look at the brand and make sure that we’re supporting an ethical company whose values align with our own. Are their materials sourced sustainably? Are they donating a portion of their profits to a charity? Are they third party certified?
Why does this company deserve your hard earned cash?
Can I get this item used?
You’ve decided to welcome this item into your home. See if you can source it in a more sustainable manner, through Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, or a local Thrift Store.
You don’t always have to buy something.
Let’s imagine you want to hang some photos up on your wall. But by golly, you don’t have a hammer! How often will you use a hammer? Unless you’re a contractor or enjoy pounding holes into your walls it isn’t likely a recurring event.
You may have the ability to borrow from a friend or take advantage of a local tool library, if you’re lucky enough to have that resource available to you. The Toronto Tool Library is a fantastic resource for odds and ends you may need but don’t want to worry about storing in your home－but it is location specific.
Another fantastic option is a local Buy Nothing group. You’re able to ask neighbours if they have something you can borrow or even gift items you no longer need. Here’s how to find a Buy Nothing group near you.