3 Motivations to support Responsible Consumption today
If we continue with today’s lifestyle choices, by 2050 we will need three planets to sustain ourselves. Fortunately, there is plenty we can do to support our home through our consumption habits.
Food, water, shelter, and clothes meet our daily needs and desires. But the way we buy and throw away things today gears more towards blind consumption than fulfilling the bare minimum. According to the United Nations, if the global population reaches 9.6 billion by 2050, we would require nearly three planets to provide the natural resources needed to sustain our current lifestyles. Here are three reasons we should rethink our consumption patterns more responsibly.
Accumulating stuff drives climate impact
Once our basic human needs are met, we buy things to improve our social standings. The more we own, the higher we move up the perceived wealth and status ladder. To produce all this stuff requires vast amounts of the earth’s limited resources while pumping greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. According to a 2020 study published in Scientific Reports, the average result in carbon emissions across any product life cycle is 6.3 times its own weight.
For this reason, it’s important to reflect on the environmental footprint of the things we purchase, prioritizing products with a lower impact. By opting to buy more sustainably, we can help conserve an ecosystem already at a tipping point.
Less is more
As conscientious consumers, buying fewer items leads to a less materialistic and more fulfilling life. A 2019 study from the University of Arizona found that when people consume less, they experience decreased psychological distress, improving overall well-being.
When we make purchases, experts recommend looking for suitable materials with high-quality design and repairability. “Good stuff is well designed for a long life cycle,” says Sandra Goldmark, author of Fixation: How to Have Stuff Without Breaking the Planet. “[it’s] made of the right materials, has parts that are easily available and replaceable, and was produced in a socially and environmentally ethical process,” she explains. Here are 6 conscious questions to ask yourself before shopping for new clothes.
Buy local, build your community
Proximity, or local consumption, comes with environmental, social and economic benefits. Buying home-grown products can conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from decreased logistics and transport. According to Sustainable Connections, residents of neighborhoods with more local businesses log 26% fewer automobile miles, leading to less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
Consuming local products also helps the surrounding economy, as a single euro spent on local products can generate double for the local economy. As resident businesses grow and expand, they create jobs and wealth in the community, lifting the neighborhood. Find out how shopping small yields a big economic impact today.
 “Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-consumption-production/
 “7 Examples of Responsible and Sustainable Consumption That Do Make a Difference.” Withfor. Available at: https://www.withfor.com/en/blog/the-7-key-examples-key-examples-of-responsible-consumption-withfor/
 “Responsible Consumption and the Benefits of Local Consumption.” Sustainability for All. Available at: https://www.activesustainability.com/sustainable-life/responsible-consumption-benefits-local-consumption/?_adin=02021864894
Author: Naomy Gmyrek
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