3 Small Steps to Becoming a More Conscious Consumer
Would you rather use…
- A) Plastic straws OR B) Metal/Reusable straws
Would you rather purchase…
- A) $10 “fast-fashion” t-shirt OR B) $50 t-shirt made of sustainable fabrics
Would you rather support…
- A) brand that lacks a social good mission OR B) A brand that instills a social good mission
If you answered “B” to most of these questions, you’re already taking steps to becoming a more conscious consumer!
What is a “conscious consumer” exactly? According to The New York Times, conscious consumption encompasses sustainability and social responsibility and is defined as “an umbrella term that simply means engaging in the economy with more awareness of how your consumption impacts society at large.”
According to a recent study of over 1,000 consumer in the USA and UK, 96% of people feel their own actions, such as donating, recycling or buying ethically, can make a difference.
So, how do you become a more conscious consumer? Here are 3 small steps to start:
Reduce your use of plastics.
Single use plastics are out of favor. Plastics are created for a single use, but never dissolve. Only 9% of all single use plastics created have been recycled. The awareness has given rise to brands such as RePurpose, which is the maker of plant-derived alternative straws, plates and cups. Big brands, as well as emerging brands, are looking for an alternative to single use plastics, such as with Pepsi and Coca Cola, which recently announced a reduction in plastics.
According to a July 2019 UBS report, organic is growing 6.5x faster than overall food sales. Once Upon a Farm, for instance, is the first fresh, convenient, farm to highchair, HPP baby food made from whole foods (not purees or concentrates) and is certified Organic, Non-GMO, and cold-pressure pasteurized. According to a 2016 survey, eating organically is not only better for the environment, but it is better for you health-wise. One issue that has risen is Glyphosate Residue Free Certification.
For those who don’t know what Glyphosate is, it is a chemical found in the most commonly used pesticides such as Monsanto’s Round Up. Glyphosate has been linked to cancer and some estimates found that glyphosate residue is present in over 90% of all US food products. Recent legal scrutiny against Monsanto has brought this to the forefront with consumers. Glyphosate Residue Free certification is bringing a new era of transparency to the food and supplement industries. Learn more at The Detox Project.
Make sure the brands you support practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
CSR helps build consumers’ trust, raises awareness and encourages social change. How do you know what companies ensure CSR? By doing your research. Look into what companies are doing, what their social missions are and if they align with your beliefs. For example, Cambridge SPG invests in Cora, which donates feminine hygiene and period products to millions of young girls in India and Africa. Not only is Cora helping girls in developing nations, but all its products are certified organic too. Supporting Cora allows consumers to be part of the difference they’re making. Keep a close eye out for companies like this.
So the next time you “consume,” ask yourself – will this help change the world for the better? One tiny change on your end can lead to a better future for all.
This guest post was authored by Polina Chebotareva
As Vice President and General Partner at Cambridge SPG, Polina Chebotareva is an innovative pioneer with a comprehensive background in business, economics, strategic opportunity investments and venture capital transactions. Prior to joining co-founding Cambridge Companies SPG, Polina was an Executive Vice President and Partner at a real estate investment firm with $350M Equity AUM.
Polina is passionate about empowering woman in business and female entrepreneurs, and has secured investment opportunities for Cambridge Companies SPG in some of the best preforming women owned businesses in the county. Polina is passionate about charity, art, culture and has a proven track record of commitment to our community.
She is an underwriter and major donor at Harvesters Food Bank in Orange County. Through her contribution to working with Oceana she has helped raise awareness and funding for environmental issues. She has devoted her time and resources to The Village of Hope Rescue Mission which helps struggling parents restore stability in their lives and the lives of their children.