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7 Tips For Every Thoughtful Person To Slay Responsible Shopping This Season

Posted: December 22, 2019
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Think global, act local and source hyperlocal.’ Make this your new mantra and shop smart and responsibly with these seven tips that the author has!

We live in an era of consumerism. From kids to octogenarians- everyone is constantly bombarded with appealing commercials. Marketers do their best to compel us into buying things. Things that we can do without or settle with less fancy (read more functional) versions of. So how do you filter train your brain to be a rational shopper.

Ask yourself, do I really need it? Can I carry on without it? Is its absence hampering my daily functioning?

If the answer to any of this is a resounding YES then there seems a way out without you making this purchase.

Read on for seven simple thoughts to be kept in mind when contemplating your next consumption in order to be a responsible citizen of this planet.

‘Needs’ vis-a-vis ‘wants’

Something inevitable is a need, anything beyond survival is a want. And anything that is a luxury is a desire. Clearly, the spends towards your needs should be maximum, the ones for the wants should be under control and desires should be minimal.

If you absolutely must be having it, then either reuse or recycle from existing options you own. Else remember the adage ‘beg borrow steal!’

Read through the label

Make it a habit to read the fine print on the product or service, go through terms and conditions of any subscription or contracts you sign up for. That not only helps you watch your back but also makes you a conscious spender.

Watch out for words like Parabens, sulphates, chlorines and phthalates. These are not only harmful for cosmetic use but also pollute the environment. It all started with a blanket word called detergents, but today these substances have become common ingredients to most of the consumables.

Look what’s outside

Almost 10% of the price you pay is just for the packaging. And this is that part of the product which goes straight to the trash bin once product is in the hands of the consumer. This trash makes almost 65% of any household’s waste.

While FMCG companies have woken up to pay attention to reduce their packaging costs and thus wastage. We, as consumers, must also be aware of less expensive options to buy the same products minus the packaging. After all packaging is not a value addition in every product, save certain perishables.

Replace

Think before you buy. Could you replace the basic material or fabric of the product? For instance get natural fibres like cotton and jute rather than synthetic ones like nylon, rayon. Buy recycled stationery which causes less trees to be felled.

Bits and pieces contribute to the larger picture so every penny towards this step shall count. After all natural materials are less expensive, longer lasting and degenerate faster creating less landfill.

Say no to bags

Unless absolutely necessary. Make a habit to carry a light-weight cloth bag folded easily into palm sized carry on. This eliminates the need to accept plastic and even paper or cloth bags from any outlet. After all, most retailers charge you for it. I am all for it as it dissuades one from taking bags due to the add-on cost involved.

Buy ‘right’

Think global, act local and source hyperlocal is the new mantra. Buy garden fresh seasonal produce from local farms and orchards. Turn to fresh milk produce from local dairies.

Source unprocessed poultry and meat instead of frozen pickups from the supermarket. Promote local brands that boost the economy in more far reaching ways than imported labels. Not only would you be saving money but helping local businesses thrive.

Purchase meaningful

Buy what adds value to the producer. Cherish that which brings value to the consumer. Such that it will last and while it lasts will build memories for you and your loved ones.

Do not subscribe to fast fashion. Fads will come and go but longer the existence, higher its intrinsic value. Turn to brands that have a larger purpose than just making profits. Promoting local artisans like FabIndia, replacing synthetic substances with locally sourced replacements like Liva does, or combining cutting edge technology with local science like Biotique. Find the brand you resonate with and give it a try.

Tag your favourite brands and leave your suggestions/comments below to let your hacks and tricks be known to fellow shoppers!

Picture credits: Pexels

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