Should this date with all its amazing deals and sales, excuse the consumer for lowering his/her values?
Consumerism is part of our modern life but a balance is definitely necessary. In excess, consumerism is characterised by possession and accumulation, which generates deterioration and imbalance, both in our impact on the planet and in our own daily lives.
Therefore, knowing that the vast majority of us tend to buy on impulse rather than out of real necessity, periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, etc. can be a real challenge. So how can we go through these highly toxic consumption moments in an ethical, balanced and conscious manner?
We must prioritise practices that avoid waste and the consumption of disposables (which is the basis of a resource-misuse economy that will not carry on its existence!).
Here are some helpful tips in this regard:
1) Plan ahead what you want (and need) to buy;
2) Make a list according to the categories of items you need - from electronic goods, daily consumer goods, clothing, footwear, etc.;
3) Take advantage of the best prices and set a reasonable budget;
4) Get to know the source/origin of the item you want to buy - was it produced in an ethical and fair environment?
5) The idea is to encourage a consciousness towards the planet and to reduce waste, avoiding impulse buying - so invest in items that make a difference, which are long lasting and of smaller environmental impact;
6) With regard to food, and whenever possible, buy local and seasonal produce and avoid over-packaged items, always favouring the “fresh”, natural and organic goods;
7) Avoid buying single-use, disposable, polluting items, which can be both harmful to your health and to the well being of the planet itself;
8) Always question the real need and inner motivation to purchase a particular item;
9) Avoid going to big supermarket chains on these particular days - focus on stores that sell exclusively what you need to avoid overspending;
10) If possible, consider buying "second-hand" extending the life of those items to its maximum;
11) Support local and neighbourhood businesses, ensuring that the goods purchased raise the local economy;
12) We are the Millennial generation, the generation that values the thrill of an “experience” above all - so when gifting someone, buy an unforgettable, unique and lifelong moment instead of an item that may be of no use.
We are constantly being bombarded with advertising that encourages consumerism.
That is why it is important to reflect on how our individual actions today, however small and unique they may seem, can have an impact on an incomparable scale. This toxic cycle of consumerism needs to take a new direction. Therefore, before periods of major “excesses”, consider sustainable, ethical, animal-and planet-friendly alternatives.
There is no need to refrain completely from taking advantage of what it's good about it, but the ideal is to avoid excesses and waste, not only for the environment but for the wallet itself.