What is conscious consumption, and who is a conscious consumer?

  • July 30, 2020
    Describe in few words, what is Conscious Consumption and Conscious Consumer.
  • July 30, 2020
    I believe that today conscious consuming is more than just standing up for our own rights and interests. It is important to be ethically and environmentally conscious as well; we have to consider the impact of our consumption on other people. Our consumption can impact the people living today, people born in the future, our descendants and even non-human beings, such as animals, plants and ecological systems. We live in a consumer society, which means that most of the economy and society are built around consumption. Companies are trying to find out and influence consumers to become successful. However, consumption is far more than a simple economic action: it has socio-cultural and psychological implications. Today advertisements and commercial media have more influence on what we think and how we talk about the world than the so called “high culture”. Our personal identity is often strongly linked to an image projected by products we buy. Thus, consuming has become much more than just the acquisition of necessary material goods, which in itself is not inherently bad. . Everyone needs to know that what they do has meaning and value. In a way advertisements aim to make us believe the same thing: they claim that buying a car is in fact an act of self-realization, which embodies important values such as liberty and independence in the car for the owner.
  • Member
    July 30, 2020
    We, conscious consumers, are trying to make decisions that are beneficial not only to ourselves but to the world. Our decisions reflect our core values: the belief in justice, fairness and ecological responsibility.

    We try to see through the fog of advertising and think about what we do when buying products. What is the real purpose or value of a product? Are we promoting child labour or another form of human suffering in a far away country? Are we supporting a company that uses genetic modification or produces cosmetics using animal testing? Is the product worth the little pleasure we gain from it or just more trash? We can also look at the positives: did we buy something that is healthy, was it produced in an environmentally responsible way and is the company outstanding, ethical, and responsible?

    In consumers society the act of consumption is as important as the volume of consumption. The modern economy is globalised, which brings at least 2 major problems to the forefront. First is that we know little about the products coming from far away places. We would be horrified if we knew that the cocoa used to make our chocolate was picked by child slaves or that the quality sport shoes we buy are made under humiliating and exploitative working conditions somewhere in south-east Asia. The second big problem is that today’s economy is not ecologically sustainable. Serious environmental research shows that we take too much raw material and energy from our environment while creating too much pollution and trash, which is causing irreversible ecological damage. Calculations show that this ecological catastrophe is not merely the result of a growing human population. The greatest impact comes from the wasteful lifestyle of people in developed countries: 80% of all materials and energy consumed are used by just 20% of the world’s population, most of whom live in developed countries like ours. From the other perspective, 80% of the world’s population uses only 20% of all resources…

    Just because the problems are far away or abstract does not mean that they do not have an impact on us. In a globalised world it is not only products from far away that reach us; in one way or another we will have to deal with the consequences of our dramatic social and environmental impacts.