Let us make a more sustainable future for the youth of the world by becoming conscious consumers. Not only is it good for the planet, but it also is good for your health and overall well-being. We can all do our part in limiting new purchases, sharing existing resources, and buying sustainable products. 

So what does being a conscious consumer actually mean? There are many factors that go into this process. Do not get overwhelmed and just start with what you can, every little bit helps! Each day this week we will focus on one topic. We will break down conscious consumerism into achievable sections that will help you get started.

Today let us focus on… Limiting New Purchases.

This does not mean you have to be a minimalist; you do not have to stop buying period. But, when getting a new table for example, instead of buying that cheap mass-produced particleboard table, go to an antique show, estate sale, and/or look on a site like eBay, or Craigslist. Buying used furniture is not only economical, but most of the time you are getting a more quality product for a fraction of the price. The search for the right piece is a fun process, and you get a good feeling knowing that you are giving the furniture new life. If it is not the right finish, you can paint it! Not only will you love the new custom look that you have achieved, but you will also feel a sense of accomplishment and sentiment from the hard work you have dedicated to the process.

Electronics today are one of the biggest hazards to our planet. Not only do they contain hazardous and toxic chemicals, but also they are designed for the dump. Each year society tells us we need to have the newest computer, cell-phone, TV, etc. Newer versions of these products have different chargers, software, and are only slightly improved, but changed enough that we think we have to have them. The Story of Stuff Project released a short video called The Story of Electronics (2010) The video claims that by this time we were at 25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoning workers, and leaving the general public with the cleanup bill. Mass producers of electronics not only need to be held accountable for there e-waste, but they should also be more responsible about promoting ideas that contribute to useless upgrading each year. 

Watch The Story of Electronics (2010) here: https://youtu.be/sW_7i6T_H78

If we can be a conscious consumer in all of our purchases, not only will we help Mother Earth, but we will also feel better about our purchases. Wednesday’s topic, paying attention to what is in our food.

By Liz Sanchez