Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Ethical Consumerism Manifesto

Supporting my consumerism overhaul to consume less, choose well and buy ethnically, here's my new manifesto.

The Ethical Consumerism Manifesto:
  • Say NO to mindless consumerism. Buy only when you need something, not when you need shopping to relief boredom or stress. Alternative to shopping, choose a service like a good massage
  • Quality over quantity! Go for the good stuff that lasts. No more "Buy and Throw Away" mentality
  • When possible, buy products that's ethically sourced with fair trading. Be aware of externalized cost such as pollution, exploitation etc. (Read more here). Don't buy from companies that exploit animals, human beings and the environment. For instance, don't buy any Disney or Nike products as they are notorious for underpaying factories and poor working conditions. Here's a list of unethical companies to avoid. 
  • When buying something you don't need but want (eg, clothes or shoes etc), take some time to consider before impulse buying. Statistic shows that most consumers use only 1% of what they have bought six months down the road. 
  • Fashion purchases have to be timeless and classic with good quality that will last. If the French can be fashionable with a few key classic items like stripes tees, black cigarette pants, and ballet flats, so can we. No need to deck up like a Christmas tree. 
  • De-clutter and give away useful stuff that you don't use to people who need it more (but don't give rubbish to people!)
  • Switch to non toxic toiletries and skin care with no harmful chemicals. With the human breast milk being one of the most toxic food (refer to the video I posted in Consumerism Overhaul), you'd like to think twice about using chemical and toxins laden toiletries. Your skin absorbs up to 64% of what you put on it, so don't put toxic stuff on it! Here's where you can check if your products are safe. David Suzuki has a pocket guide of a dozen of toxic substances to avoid called the Dirty Dozens, click here to print it out and keep it in your wallet as reference when you go toiletries shopping. 
  • Use non-toxic household items like floor cleaner, washing powder, dish washing liquid etc. Yes, the toxic stuff is cheaper but think about this, it isn't just about protecting the environment, it's protecting your health too since your skin will be expose to the toxins. The fact that research has shown an insanely high amount of toxins and chemicals in the body of crawling toddlers and home pets  ought to make you think about switching to safer products. Also, when you buy less of other stuff, the money you save can use to buy these eco-friendly products. Create the demand and hopefully the cost will go down too! Good Guide provides a great database on the safety index of many products and is my favorite go-to source.
  • Bring your own recycling bag! Reduce the use of plastic bags!
  • Locally grown vegetable and produce are more environmentally friendly. Not only are they fresher, they require less fuel to reach your market
  • Consume less, choose well and buy ethically!
Image from Grafter


Lon said...

Just came across this. You'll probably like our manifesto here -

Cobalt TiNor said...

got a broken link for the list of ethical companies


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