In these modern post corona times, we are all living in, many people all over the world are left with a lower income and overall less financial stability. This means that where we put our money and how we spend it has become an even bigger consideration than it ever was before. People are forced to prioritize their lifestyle choices based on financial viability and are forced to compromise more on their ethics and values of living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle. When people are pushed to pick between the planet and their pockets, which are they going to choose? Well, the purpose of this article is to examine and illustrate that living a sustainable lifestyle is not as costly as initially assumed and that it involves so much more than how you spend your money and conscious consumerism.
When people hear the words ‘Sustainable Living’, most people will assume it involves only addressing one primary aspect of their lifestyle choices and that is buying more eco-friendly alternative products. This may be choosing to drive a hybrid car, using a bamboo toothbrush, or even whether to buy organic or non-organic groceries but all fall under the same category of consumerism and in other words what products we choose to buy and/or consume. Actively becoming aware of our consumption and purchasing choices is known as conscious consumerism.
Upon first inspection, when we consciously compare the price tag of any common household product and its more eco-friendly alternative, we can easily jump to the conclusion that sustainable living is expensive. It is true that environmentally friendly products appear relatively more expensive than their mass-produced counterparts. This is largely due to the fact that they are usually manufactured by smaller independent companies, are produced using natural and sustainably sourced materials, and are manufactured on a smaller scale and to a higher standard. And consequently, this will naturally increase the margin at which producers have to sell their products when compared with non-environmentally conscious large-scale producers. But when choosing what to purchase and why it pays to look beyond the price tag and examine some of the key benefits of eco versus non-eco consumer products.
Eco-conscious products are designed to:
- Consume fewer resources during the manufacturing process
- Use Locally, Ethically & Sustainably Sourced Production Materials.
- Use Production Materials of a high safety standard & quality.
- Have harmful chemicals reduced or eradicated during production,
- Have a longer life span,
- Be Fully Recyclable, Biodegradable or Low Waste.
- Consume fewer resources to function (water, electricity, gas).
- Overall produce fewer carbon emissions.
- Produce low wastage on unnecessary packaging.
When comparing the benefits of using earth-friendly products versus the widely available counterparts on our supermarket shelves, we can see that the pros not only benefit the environment around us but overall lead to a better and wiser product purchase. Although the initial amount paid for the product may be more, an eco-friendly product is usually a better overall investment as it will save money in the future by its durability, safety, lower resource consumption, and overall lower waste production. Nowadays making the switch to becoming a conscious consumer and using eco-friendly alternatives is easier than ever. With earth-friendly versions of pretty much everything we could possibly need and online shopping increasing accessibility to our fingertips, we are now empowered to become conscious consumers.
While becoming a Conscious consumer and making better, more environmentally friendly choices when purchasing lifestyle-related products is a great place to start, it is only one small part of living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. To truly live in harmony with the earth once more we need to take a holistic approach to address every aspect of our existence as an individual and as part of the planet as a whole. It is about taking action now to address our own behaviors, consumption levels, material dependencies, consumer habits & waste production in every aspect of our daily life. The journey of sustainable living begins with first observing and taking responsibility for the effects that you as an individual and your actions have on your environment and the earth itself. Cultivating awareness and then implementing effective ways that humans can coexist in harmony with the biosphere and in balance with all its ecosystems is the only way in which life itself can once again thrive.