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Have you ever really thought about what it is exactly that
you’re buying? Most of us see something we like, and if we can afford it, we
buy it without giving it a second thought. But, in fact, with every dollar we
spend, we’re actually, actively casting a vote about what we’re willing and not
willing to accept from companies.

While consumerism has an important role in the economy, it’s
essential to think more before buying. It’s easier than ever before to be an
ethical consumer, with the Internet and media offering practically endless
sources of information about brands and companies, where and how services and
products are made. 

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I am, for example, one of the many who base my consumer
decisions mainly after seeing some influential “wake up” videos that remind us
on why and how ethical is important for the world; and get myself insist more
on my decision by visiting some ethical websites and reading the famous Ethical
Consumer Magazine regularly.

Ethical relativism affected my upbringing as a kid. My
grandparents picked up the consumer psychology of mass marketing and abided by
the messages it taught them. They passed these ideas along to my parents who in
turn raised me in the same manner. Thus, ethical relativism affected my
upbringing as a kid.

Consumerism has played a large role in my life too, from
story books and Barbie to the cereal boxes. There was a consumer paradise in
the days of my youth as we used to stroll along the shopping malls, department
stores, and fast food chains, received tons of packages which can be recycled
blindly and then throw them away habitually. Another month and another
kilograms of trashes were created. Yet, everything was okay because my parents
never said it wasn’t. Society said it was okay too. All okay, nothing to worry
about. Everything was fine back then when I was a kid, not knowing that my
actions were un-environmental friendly and what I have caused.

See? The power of education as well as the importance of
raising awareness.

Once again, Consumerism is an important part of the economy,
but if you wish to remain ethical while making purchases, it is vital to consider
implementing a few key ideas. Remember: each time you shop, you’re voting with
your dollars. In other words, you can truly make a difference in your local
community and the entire world by keeping ethical practices in mind.

I have been an ethical consumer for years now, and I would
like to share with you some of my daily steps whenever I do my shopping. It is
easy and is as simple as it sounds.

Firstly, head to the farmers market more often. If you have
a farmers market in your area, go! Not only will you find food that is fresher,
tastier and more nutritious, buying those local foods help to support and
sustain farming in your community.

Plus, going to the farmers market is a lot more fun than
shopping at most grocery stores. Who wouldn’t rather enjoy browsing what the
community has to offer under the outdoor sunshine, and maybe even enjoying a
little live music or a taste of something you’ve never tried before?

Shopping at your farmers market helps to support the local
economy instead of massive food conglomerates, which means your money stays
within your community and also helps to ensure the local farmers can continue
their operations.

Secondly, bring your own shopping bags. I hope you’re
already doing this – after all, many communities around the country have begun
to ban plastic bags for purchases, encouraging customers to bring their own
cloth bags.

Unfortunately, the practice of using plastic bags is still
common. While they may still be free to shoppers in many places, the
environment, and our wildlife pays a high cost. Using reusable cloth bags is a
must for ethical consumers. You might think plastic bags are more convenient,
but you’ll quickly find that once you get in the habit of bringing them along,
they’re much easier to fill and carry around.

Lastly, reuse things as much as possible. Another way to
support the environment, while also making sweatshops less profitable, is to
reuse things as much as possible. For example, you can wash out sauce jars and
turn them into storage containers. This will keep you from buying storage containers
and will prevent glass jars from ending up in a landfill.

Sometimes, it is fun to recycle things with your family too.
For instant a worn out tire, can be a seesaw after being attach to a stable
tree with some ropes. Be creative, you can find numerous DIY ideas with
basically any reusable items online!

With a little practice and some research, you’ll be able to
begin shopping with ethics and the environment in mind.

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