Published on July 28th, 2014 | by Peter Young


Being an Eco Conscious Consumer

As much as we all wish to avoid rampant consumerism, we are in fact consumers and must engage in that behavior to meet our needs. Being a consumer does not mean we need to have blatant disregard for the environment and world we live in however. By being an informed consumer that is willing to take a few extra minutes to do the right thing rather than always in a rush to do the fastest thing, we can do our part to keep the world greener while at the same time meeting the needs of our family and keeping the budget in check.

Grocery Shopping for Health

The vast majority of us must purchase most of our food. The self-sustaining family farm disappeared from the landscape many years ago. While the convenience of processed boxed food took over large portions of the store shelves, you do not need to use that as your source of meals. Shopping in the organic food section and preparing meals will be far healthier for you and the environment we know, but what about the budget?

That depends on what you are going to compare costs of. While on the surface one might think organic foods are far more expensive than processed foods it really depends on what you are talking about buying. While the $3 TV Dinner seems like quite a bargain, if you took the weight of the meat and the vegetables off from additives, water added, the fact that the meat is processed byproduct, and the vegetables are culls that were not in good enough condition to be sold as produce without chopping and covering in a sauce then it is not much of a bargain at all.

Projects around the Home

Doing remodeling, repairs, and upgrades gives you an excellent opportunity to embrace a greener, more eco-conscious lifestyle. By choosing renewable and naturally sustainable materials in home projects it not only allows your vote to be cast on what products building materials should consist of, it can also make a cleaner and healthier environment for your family free from chemical toxins and pollutants that leach into the air inside your home.

To make an even bigger impact, do some research on the places you choose to hire to work around your home.  As an example, if building an addition or garage while choosing the natural materials to use in your addition is important, you also need to look at what you are doing to the environment when make this addition. Hire contractors or companies that share your commitment to the environment and make it clear as a company policy or at th every minimum ask the contractor what will be happening while they do the work.

A responsible construction outfit will be able to tell you how the debris from the project will be handled and recycled and have an environmental impact policy in place. If they are doing excavating as is a common step in many projects, ask not only where they will be getting the replacement gravel and topsoil they put in your yard (that your children and pets will be playing on for years), but where they will be dumping any excavated soil so you do not become an unintended participant in damaging the environment. When consumers care about the environment and make it known, so do the companies they hire and do business with.

This post was supported by Scott-JCB.

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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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