conscious consumerism

Conscious Consumerism Trends On the Rise

Photo by Cam Morin on Unsplash

While 2020 will always now be remembered as ‘the year of the coronavirus pandemic’, it’s easy to forget just how significant a period of time it has been in the fight against climate change, as well as the increase of conscious consumerism.

One of the – if not the biggest – global issue we as humans will ever face, climate change is responsible for the melting of the ice caps, atmospheric carbon dioxide being at its highest level for thousands of years and the increased numbers of storms we’ve been seeing recently.

In other words, it is a huge problem which affects everyone, everywhere – from the living rooms of Brighton to the forests of Peru. And, as such, it falls on each of our shoulders to do something about it, to buck the trend and stop it in its tracks.

This may be easier said than done in the increasingly polluted and interconnected world we live in but, despite that, conscious consumerism is actually on the rise – we all, as consumers, are doing more to help the planet out of choice rather than necessity.

So, how have we been doing it? And what have been the main trends we, as a society, have decided to follow?

Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss today. Highlighted below are a few of the key ways consumers have been doing their bit to live more sustainably, helping combat the effects of climate change in doing so.

Sustainable Shopping

It may always be nice to buy new things, but one of the major ways society has changed in recent years has been through our desire to shop more sustainably.

From the food products we eat to the clothes we wear, everything we buy now comes with a sustainable affinity attached to it. Whether you like it or not, we’ve all been doing our part.

Within the fashion industry, for example, many clothing brands have substantially stepped up their commitment to producing garments with recycled materials and environmentally-sourced fabrics.

Likewise, major brands like IKEA and Apple have put sustainability at the front and center of their business philosophies, implementing specialist programs to encourage their customers to recycle or reuse their items.

This way of thinking is then passed down to us as consumers, changing the way we think, act and make decisions about certain things – from deciding to throw away a broken watch, for instance, to having it repaired and refurbished by a specialist instead.

It’s made a notable difference too, with research from Unilever revealing that a third of consumers now choose to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.

This is a stark contrast from how we, as consumers, used to behave a decade ago, representing a sizeable shift in how we all now consciously decide to respond to the threat of climate change.  

Sustainable Eating

The dairy and meat industries account for a huge percentage of the world’s total gas emissions, with the beef industry alone emitting 150 billion gallons of methane every day.

What’s more, the amount of land and water required for livestock is incredibly uneconomical; globally 85% of agricultural land is used for animal agriculture, with almost 2,400 gallons of water needed to produce just one pound of beef.

As such, there is a growing movement from consumers towards eating more sustainably – from small dietary changes, like reducing red meat intake, to deciding to become a vegan or vegetarian.

Many of us consumers are also opting to source our foods from local providers over the more major suppliers, largely due to the high transportation costs involved. And, even when we have no choice but to go to these major suppliers, the products we put in our basket are often those which have been produced sustainably, including fair trade coffee, chocolate and wine.

Similarly, more and more of us as consumers are starting to actually grow our own food, reusing any by-products we don’t eat.

Whether it be vegetables like carrots and peas, fruit like apples and oranges, or herbs like basil and rosemary, even those of us without much garden space have been finding ways to create our own produce for the good of the planet.

Sustainable Living

It’s not just the way we buy things that has changed, the way we all decide to live has changed drastically in recent times as well.

Just look at the facts: the energy we power our homes with is now provided through greener suppliers; more and more people are gradually choosing to drive electric cars over the traditional petrol/diesel alternatives; many of us are now opting to outfit our homes with pre loved goods over expensive new ones.

Even small changes like using energy-efficient lightbulbs, growing our own fruit and veg, shopping locally, composting and making more effort to recycle have become more synonymous with everyday life.

Nowadays, it’s cool to be eco-friendly.

Conscious Consumerism Can Become a Way of Life

Whether it be through a smart home setup keeping tabs on your energy usage, upcycling furniture to look shabby chic or using public transport more regularly, these are all trends that many of us as consumers are opting in on, choosing to improve our way of living while also protecting the planet.

If we each take a little time to do our research and make good choices (for ourselves and the environment in which we live), conscious consumerism can become a way of life.

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