Being a conscious consumer

Donna Willan Latest, Money cents

Being a conscious consumer

We want to become more conscious consumers, which includes the fact that we should consume less.

What do I mean by being more conscious consumers, and why do we want to consume less? Here are a few thoughts from my children and me:

  • We want to think more about what we buy and if we need to buy it. We want to always ask, “Do I need this?” and if the answer is yes then, “Why do I need this?” and “What will happen if I don’t buy this?”
  • We want to consume less; we are particularly worried about the growing culture of consumerism, excess, and disposable goods – I really don’t want my children to blindly buy into this trend.
  • Our planet needs us to tread more carefully; we need to consume less because this means less is produced and there is less waste. All these things we are buying must be disposed of, and that means more landfills, more junk in the oceans, and more pollution from the production processes.
  • We want to try de-clutter our lives and surround ourselves with less things. Much is written about how a de-cluttered space leads to a de-cluttered mind – consume less, find peace of mind. Simon has done this with his radical down-sizing.
  • Recycling is good, but reducing unnecessary purchases and re-using is even better!

Finally, it will save us money: consume less, save more.   We love the life philosophy of a family we recently heard about. They follow the 5 Rs: Refuse (what you don’t need), Reduce (what we do need), Re-use, Recycle and Rot (compost). Check out more about them here.

In my next column, I’m going to reflect back on an idea I explored about 18 months ago: financial health and wellness. I love this concept, and I think we often forget about it.


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