5 Steps to Become a More Ethically Conscious Consumer

Looking to become a more Ethically Conscious Consumer? Here’s how:

Shop seasonally and locally
Supporting local vendors is an important step to becoming an ethically conscious consumer. Why shop local? In addition to how beneficial it can be to the economy, it can help you to successfully emit ‘food miles’ from your purchasing habits. Food miles refer to the large distance food and produce has to travel to reach the UK leaving behind a heavy carbon footprint especially when carried by air. That’s not it though, even once our food reaches the UK, there are more miles ahead. For example, DEFRA estimates that moving food is responsible for 25% of all miles covered by heavy goods traffic in the UK 👀. Transporting food within, to and around the UK produces 19 million tonnes of CO2 annually – equivalent to around 5.5 million typical cars. 

Shop Local UK - Food Miles are a real problem - 5 Steps to Become a More Ethically Conscious Consumer

So when it comes to your food, try shopping from that local small shop on the corner. Making your other purchasing habits local is also an ethically conscious decision.

Buy handmade 
Unsurprisingly, handmade products use a lot less energy than machine assembly lines. They also do not fill landfills with waste or enslave children during production processes. So, if you’re trying to be an ethically conscious consumer, buy handmade. 

Handmade creators make many other ethically conscious choices. Ethically conscious makers are likely to make their products be upcyclable - this means you can use the original product and then transform it into something else once it’s worked it’s intended magic. 

Switch to Fairtrade 
Fairtrade is one of the simplest ways to spark change and become an ethically conscious consumer. What does fairtrade mean? It means fairer pay and more power given to the farmers . When you choose fairtrade, you’re standing by farmers and quality and against some of the biggest challenges the world tends to face. 

If you’re wondering where to buy fairtrade in the UK, it’s readily available. There are over 6,000 Fairtrade products ranging from coffee and tea to flowers and fruits. Just look for the FAIRTRADE mark, add the item to your trolley and you’ve successfully taken a step towards being more ethically conscious! 

Avoid unethical companies 
It’s no new news that e-commerce websites like Amazon are highly relied on. According to the Guardian, 90% of UK Shoppers use Amazon. If you’re trying to be an ethically conscious consumer, you should be actively avoiding Amazon’s services. What is so bad about Amazon? It’s an extensive list, but in essence, many reports have disclosed that the company exploits its workers, fights tax laws supporting local economies and degrades the environment with its practises. 

Remember, the biggest loss for a company is not getting your coins. You have control over your money and when you decide to not spend it on Amazon’s services, you’re deciding to not fund their unethical habits. If you think this one small change from you won’t create a difference, remind yourself that big changes are a result of thousand smaller steps, each of which matter. 

5 Steps to Become a More Ethically Conscious Consumer - All big changes start with small steps
Being an ethically conscious consumer is a process 
In such a fast moving world, we all have started expecting quick results. The process to becoming an ethically conscious consumer is ongoing and needs practise. Along with the above steps, there are many other small changes which can be made to become more ethically conscious. For example, ditch the plastic bags for reusable shopping bags and keep a reusable cup on you for all the coffee shop runs. Make your choices count! 

All of the above are super simple ways for you and your purchasing habits to become more ethically conscious. Remember, every little choice counts so if we all start doing our bit, we can make ethical consumerism the new ‘it’ thing!

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