Conscious Consumerism

Written by Beth W December 06, 2018

Hi, y’all! My name is Bethany. I’m one of the 9 badass womxn that make up Fat and the Moon, aka the coven. I’m passionate about many things--rock climbing (get you some All Salve, climbers! That shiz is magic), reading too many books at once, eating all the Indian food I can withstand, and experiencing various corners of this world when I’m able. I’m also, more recently than not, feeling extra fiery around consumerism and my role in being a part of a consumerist society.

Our survival depends on consuming food for energy, water to maintain hydration, raw materials to protect against the elements, etc- right? Yet, these days, we are led to believe that our personal worthiness, happiness, and fulfillment ALSO depends upon our consumption of material goods and services. How do we gain some consciousness as consumers, and use our self-empowers for good?

A conscious consumer is an agent of change who considers the social, environmental, ecological, and political impact of their buycott and boycott actions. I'm sure we're all familiar with boycotts--mine initially started with refusing to step foot into Chic-Fil-A after their anti-homosexuality stance was made public in 2012, and has since spread to numerous personal boycotts around everything from the fast fashion industry to coffee companies. There is something empowering about saying NO in the face of our natural desire to consume, especially when those companies specifically cater to your generation's financial demographic. On the other end of that spectrum, our freedom as consumers to buycott is just as empowering. A buycott is the act of deliberately purchasing a company/country’s products in support of their policies. What you choose to buycott is just as important as what you choose to boycott. With every dollar we spend we are actively casting votes about what we are willing and not willing to accept from companies and our markets.

Here are some guidelines that help my decision making process prior to purchasing from a company I'm not familiar with:

  • Who made this?
  • Is this price fair?
  • What is it made of? (What fabrics are used? What ingredients? How/where are those ingredients sourced?)
  • Does this company give back?
  • Want vs. Need. Pyramid of buyerarchy
    • Buy
    • Make
    • Thrift
    • Swap
    • Borrow
    • Use what you have

Furthermore, I've compiled a list of some great gift ideas to help you + your loved ones baby-step forward into the world of conscious consumerism. Feel free to drop us a line if you'd like to recommend your own favorite/mindful goods!

  • Zero Waste Kits -- the perfect gift for that friend or family member who needs a gentle, mindful nudge in the right direction.
  • Reusable Produce Bags -- Bring 'em to the farmers market, grocery store, etc. in place of using plastic produce bags.
  • Reusable Stainless Steel Straws -- it takes hundreds of years for a single straw to break down in a landfill, but unfortunately, most discarded straws end up in our oceans. American's use roughly 500 million per day. Need I say more?