The 5 Steps of Conscious Consumerism in 2019

Posted on November 22, 2019

We've discussed conscious consumerism on our blog before, such as with our 2017 article Top 10 Ways to be an Ethical Shopper, but when it comes down to it, the crux of being a conscious consumer is just thinking about your purchases before you make them. Here are the five steps to consider before you make the buy:


Step 1: Do You Need It?

Before anything else, you need to determine if your purchase is even necessary. Of course, we all need new things once in a while, and we don't want to totally give up on gift giving (to others and to ourselves), but sometimes our purchases are really not necessary and we all need to learn to recognize that.

Step 2: Is There an Alternative?

Okay, so you need something, whether that's a gift, some new clothes, or whatever else. Now, it's worth considering whether there are any alternatives to that thing that doesn't mean buying something. Can you reuse or fix something you already have? Can you borrow it from someone instead?

Step 3: Does it Have to Be New?

Okay, so you now you know that you can't borrow, fix, or reuse the thing you need. Next question is whether you can buy something used or from a thrift store. You can find lots of perfectly good products on classified ad websites, social media trading groups, and in thrift stores.

Step 4: Where Does It Go When You're Done With It?

So, you know that a new item is necessary, so now it's a good time to consider what you'll do with the item when you're done with it. Is it something that will have to throw away? Can it be recycled? When you're done with it, could it be resold? Frequently, a higher priced but higher quality item can be resold or repaired later in its life cycle, rather than replaced.

Step 5: What is the Best Product?

Okay, you've considered all alternatives, the pros and cons of new versus used, and you've figured out the best possibility for you. Now, you can go ahead and make a purchase of the item. Your last step here is to find the best item out of those available. Take a little time to research which item is the best. Reviews can be useful, as is reading a little about the company that makes the item. When you're ready, make your purchase!


All of these steps make this seem like a long process, but they can often be worked through quickly. This is especially true after you've done some research on certain items and companies, because then you have that knowledge in your pocket when you make your next purchase. Do you have any items that are a go to for you? Companies you trust for quality and environmental practices? Let us know on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!