November 10, 2016
Anna Sun Choi
As we head into the holiday season, I'm looking for an alternative for both buying and receiving gifts. My family started a new tradition of picking a cause that the other family member donates to. While that tradition only lasted a couple of years, I found myself wanting
I first got educated out of stuff coming across Annie Leonard's 2007 Story of Stuff video.
It's education that you don't really want to know, and yet deep down inside--you do believe it's your responsibility to at least get educated. So I watched the video, learning the entire supply chain of "stuff" from electronics and smartphones to plastic toys. By the end, I was now questioning everything I owned and thus began my conscious consumerism.
Learning where stuff actually ends up can feel daunting. So rather than overwhelm you into inaction, here are a few ideas to inspire you as a conscious consumer:
1. Start a new holiday tradition with creative gifting either by donating to a cause, making jams or soaps, or gifting an experience like cooking classes.
2. Check out New Dream.org's Simply the Holidays link where you can get ideas for fun holiday tradition gift alternatives. I love their take-home message:
"Part of being a conscious consumer is educating ourselves about the hidden costs behind the things we buy. But we also need to consider what’s driving us to buy these things in the first place: will they really enhance our lives and make us happy, or are we buying them simply because we “think” we need them or because advertisers tell us to?"
3. Finally, you practice living by Sarah Lazarovic’s “Buyerarchy of Needs" who did a one year social experiment where instead of buying whatever she wanted, she painted what she wanted to buy for a year. She came up with this cool Buyerarchy of Needs.