“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want’ – Anna Lappe

This quote is in the December issue of The Yellow Collective‘s periodical focused on Conscious Consumerism. During the Holiday season, it’s important to remember every dollar we spend is an opportunity to align with our personal ethics and be the change we wish to see in the world. Corporate greed and overstepping are enabled by us. As consumers, it’s time to remember we have the power! Read below for 3 ways to be a more conscious consumer:

1. Shop Local + Small

Support your local economy by shopping locally. Source your goods from small, local businesses with models that resonate with you. Recycling your dollars in your own community empowers the people and businesses you support to continue operating. As we vote with our dollars, we can choose to buy less and buy better quality from smaller, independent or local companies.

2. Consider Sustainability

When shopping this Holiday season, think about your environmental impact. With an ever rising amount of global waste, how can you decrease your contribution? Many companies are focusing on sustainable and ethical business models. Consider buying eco-friendly items or supporting businesses that are decreasing their environmental footprint. Additionally, consider where your clothes are coming from? Should a pair of jeans cost $10, is life sustainable for the person who made it? If the price is a barrier to sustainability, consider browsing resale sites/apps for the same items to close the loop!

3. Ask yourself “Why Am I Buying This?

Capitalism wants you to believe three words “You. Need. This”. Advertisers and marketers run a multibillion-dollar industry to convince us new products, services, and experiences are necessary to be whole. When shopping, ask yourself “Why am I buying this”? You’ll likely hear the voice in your head say “Because I need a new one”, “Because I have to show my partner I love them by spending X dollars”, “Because everyone else has them”. Don’t fall into the capitalistic trap of aspirational lifestyle marketing. Don’t overspend or support a company you don’t agree with in efforts to feed your inner insecurities. Invest in quality things you’ll have for years to come. It’s okay to treat yourself but stay within your financial and ethical means. Additionally, it’s also okay to treat yourself to not consuming anything!

I hope this Holiday season treats you well and you’re able to stay balanced! I hope the things you buy you plan to have for years to come. I’m hopeful our tiny individual efforts will collectively shift the tides and create a more conscious consumer base and sustainable future for us all. In the words of Vivienne Westwood.

“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last” – Vivienne Westwood