Friday, June 9, 2017

What? is Conscious Consumerism

What is conscious consumerism and why is it important? Also How can we make our children aware of the concept? A basic definition is using our dollars to vote for what we believe. This mainly means only buying items or services that match our own ethical and moral beliefs. This brings up my mantra of "Knowledge is Power"

When discussing the topic with my daughter it usually starts with the "Gimmies, WantEms & NeedEms". Which heading does the item fall under? I feel this is very important base when discussing consumerism, we should always be aware of which heading every item we buy falls under. I think we are all guilty of the Gimmies & WantEms and we often try to convince ourselves and others that they are really NeedEms. Often the terms can blur as we may need something but do we need that particular one. 

Conscious consumerism can be very abstract at times as it does come down to each individual. There is no defined demographic, though much effort has been given trying to determine one. Transparency in the supply chain has become a big part of many companies over the last decade and it has become much easier for the average consumer to find this information. An easy way is to look for companies mission statements or at least see if they have one or look for the About Page. See if they have similar beliefs to your own, do they care about their workers as individuals.

We should as consumers always think about where something comes from, how was it made, who made it, does the company support similar beliefs to our own? This is all very important but it is a lot to think about when we need to buy something as simple as socks or decide where we should buy our next coffee. Which is why total conscious consumerism can be a difficult thing to follow through on. I strongly believe in trying to walk the walk not just talk the talk but sometimes it can be difficult to only buy things we truly need or to care about every little step of how the the product has made its way into our hands. 

Conscious Consumerism is a topic very important to me and I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately. Part of the reason for it being forefront in my mind is because I have been asked to make an 1.5 hr presentation on the topic. Luckily I have a while to prepare and sort out how best to approach the subject beforehand. My daughter is very interested in contributing her viewpoint on the topic as a middle school student and I plan on including this. The presentation is geared towards how to make Conscious Consumerism part of teaching your child about money management and ethical decision making so having her viewpoint will be an added bonus. I am sure my research will take me down many side paths so the trick will be not to stray too much from my outline for the presentation ;).

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