What Does a Year of Conscious Consumption Look Like?
It’s December 2023 and you’re reflecting on your past year. Earlier in the year, you made a commitment to be more mindful of your habits. Along the way, you made small changes to better live your values and become a more conscious consumer. And you know what? You actually did it.
Just think of how good sticking to an intention like that would feel.
Here’s a little bit of good news: Changing your habits doesn’t have to be painful or overly complicated! To help you get started, here are some of our favorite ideas — some we’ve shared before and some that are brand new for ‘23.
Replace single-use with reusable
Instantly create less trash and spend less money in the long run — a winning combination. Some easy examples include: When your Ziplocs run out, invest instead in reusable food storage options like silicone bags, beeswax wraps and food huggers (aw). And swap or supplement those endless rolls of paper towels with reusable dishcloths.
Bonus Points: Look for these things at stores near you, as money spent in the local economy has a measurably positive impact. When you choose to #shopsmall, you’re supporting someone’s dream, creating new jobs, keeping money in your community, AND giving back. What an amazing way to spend a buck.
Gain longevity with higher quality
More often than not, the saying “you get what you pay for” rings painfully true. Inexpensive goods tend to be cutting corners somewhere (be it materials, design, ethical standards and so on). So while you can buy a cheap pair of sunglasses and save some money upfront, what about when those cheapies inevitably break? Or get lost? Are you in the habit of buying another cheap pair? Before you know it, you’ll have spent three times as much and sent multiple pairs to languish in a landfill.
Instead of this lose-lose scenario, when it’s time to shop for a replacement and you have the means, invest in an item of higher quality. And you could get lucky, the better gear may not cost more, and it'll pay to have shopped around with longevity in mind! And as for losing your sunnies (cheap or otherwise), that’s precisely why we put magnets in our ultra-durable MagLock Sunglasses — they're way easier to keep track of, and they're made to last. It's why we stand by our Worry-Free Guarantee, and what our hashtag #GoodDesignIsGoodForYou is all about.
Pause before you purchase
These days, there are only a couple of way-too-easy clicks between you and just about anything you could ever want. However, you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary purchases by instituting a 48-hour wait period before you buy. While it may be tough to challenge that instant-gratification impulse, you’ll be rewarded when you’ve saved the space (and cash) for items you truly need. And by taking a pause, you also give yourself the opportunity to shop around for a better product that’ll last longer, or to literally shop around at stores near you to check that #shopsmall box.
Check your mental consumption
Beyond what you buy, conscious consumption also extends to how you engage with resources and media. Try incorporating a few sources that inform and inspire you, rather than drag you down or overwhelm you. Check out options like Good Good Good for “real good news, not just feel good news,” or Reasons to be Cheerful (founded by David Bryne). Doing so can find you in a positive feedback loop:
Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile. Positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to more options. –James Clear
Just simple steps to a more conscientious, intentional relationship with your own purchasing power — but combined together and practiced over the course of an entire year, they can add up to make a difference.
Check out more of our go-to tips for small habits with big impacts in this round-up of ways to raise your eco-consciousness.