For most people consumption paints a picture of food and eating. However, consumption goes beyond eating. Consumption is the action of using up any resource to meet daily human needs.  Consequently, how do you ensure that your patterns of meeting your needs are responsible?

Responsible consumption is acquisition of one's needs with consideration of other factors like the environment, the working conditions of the packaging company among other factors.

Therefore, this is what to consider if your aim is to become a responsible consumer:

Limited wastage

For people to consider themselves responsible consumers, they must reduce wastage at all costs. This includes, budgeting and planning, as well as  measuring the amount of food to be prepared.  When it comes to food invest more in non-perishable goods as opposed to foods with a short lifespan. This sees to the enforcement of the reuse, reduce, and recycle principle.

Reduced pollution

At all costs, your consumption habits should have very little detrimental effects to the natural environment. Make sure during the extraction of your good or service, the air, water and land are kept in their natural state as much as possible. This is the concept that underpins organic farming; very minimal chemicals are utilized in this form of farming to reduce alterations to land.

Avoiding over extraction

You are a responsible consumer when you invest in varieties. This allows for considerable extraction thus giving a resource enough time to regenerate. When a resource is allowed to multiply, chances of it being completely finished is rare.

Alternatives

Make use of alternative packaging materials. For instance if you are presented with two products, one packaged in plastic, the other one in glass, go for the one in glass with the aim of reusing the glass when it is empty. In the case of straw, use straws made from biodegradable materials like bamboo and paper as opposed to using plastic straws which take longer to be broken down hence becoming an environmental menace.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Eliminate abuse

Photo by Syed Aoun Abbas / Unsplash

During production and consumption of the goods and services, human rights should be upheld especially those of the vulnerable in society. In case there is no consideration of the workers during production then that product or service should be boycotted and the matter reported to relevant authorities.

Such approaches have led to the improvement of working conditions for many people around the world. The business owner is compelled to comply or else lose clients.

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Advocate for local purchases

You are a responsible consumer when you support local businesses as opposed to international chains that are not providing locals with employment. They say 'charity begins at home' therefore before you purchase that pair of Nike shoes make sure your local market does not have a similar product.

Bottom line...

Being a responsible consumer has many good effects on the environment and other people which we are a part of. It improves lives and local economies. Therefore you as an individual should strive to be a responsible consumer.

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