Often, being an “ethical” or “mindful” consumer can be code for SPEND A LOT OF MONEY. Living mindfully shouldn’t be something that’s only for the wealthy, and this week Mindful Supply wants to share some tips for anyone who wants to live ethically on a budget.
When it comes to shopping, there are an overwhelming number of options out there. One easy way to get started shopping ethically is to think local first. According to Sustainable Connections, local businesses often feature local products, which cuts back on the environmental impact of transportation. Local businesses also support the local economy, and are usually better connected to the community than large chains.
Another approach to mindful shopping is to look for used items first. Your local thrift store is a great place to start, and if you’re looking specifically for clothes, we recommend thredUP and Poshmark. Sites like Ebay and SWAP are also great for for an assortment of household items. Finally, if you like the outdoors, check out REI’s Used Gear.
“Cradle to Grave”
“Cradle to Grave” is an economic idea that looks at the lifecycle of an item from its creation to its disposal. For mindful consumers, this means paying attention to where items end up when you are finished. Whenever you can, donate things instead of throwing them away. Recycle whenever possible. Compost. Mindful living means that we all need to try to minimize the negative impact we have on the environment.
Does this all sound a little overwhelming? Remember, living ethically doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing practice. Do your best when you can, and be sure to stay mindful.Katie has a PhD in rhetoric and teaches professional writing. Her mindful practice includes baking, reading, and talking about TV with her dog.