The last 18+ months have thrown a lot of us into depths of uncertainty, worry and for some, financial hardship.
We found ourselves gradually paying more attention to our basic needs – our primal instinct to survive was jolted by the gloom of the pandemic.
That was blindingly obvious when hordes of people rushed to hoard essentials like toilet paper and pasta into their trolleys.
So it might be incredulous to ask – should we think about how we buy and consume things? Do we need to care about where our products come from and how they’re made?
The answer is Yes. Surprisingly.
Through this crisis, many of us have attempted to take matters into our own hands. While we can’t buy happiness, we can choose to be happy by being a socially conscious consumer to support businesses and brands that are actively making a positive difference.
In fact, 96% of people feel their own actions, such as donating, recycling or buying ethically, can make a difference, according to Futerra, a sustainable business agency.
It’s only when we can make a difference that it will truly make us happy.
There’s more to being a socially conscious consumer than meets the eye: they’re paving a way to help all of us understand that we have control over our choices.
This means that we can become warriors who acknowledge that our wallets are our most powerful weapon to make a difference and impact, says the Conscious Consumer Report.
In turn, we’ll be happier as we have a new found purpose and determination to improve our lives and the lives of others.
Here are 3 ways that will change your life by being a socially conscious consumer:
Have you ever bought something you liked only to feel like it wasn’t as fulfilling as you hoped for?
Maybe it was too expensive, the colour wasn’t right or… it didn’t align with your deep-rooted desire to contribute to a better world.
You realised that perhaps this product ultimately didn’t gel with your long term goals and want for change.
Let’s use vegans as an example (and be objective of any preconceived notions of them): they make precise buying choices for their food not only for taste and value but it’s a proponent of the bigger picture – to create awareness for less animal cruelty, less carbon footprint and a healthier lifestyle.
Buying something that you know has been produced ethically and with transparency gives you real long-term gratification.
A study observed that many vegans are mostly happy people as they champion their cause to others while supporting brands that are usually locally sustainable, cause less harm to the environment and are waste-conscious.
Buying something that you know has been produced ethically and with transparency gives you real long-term gratification not only because you’ve made a difference, but because you’re informed and are actively involved to make a bigger, better change.
Before even wanting to make a worldly change, charity truly begins at home. Socially conscious consumers also have a strong sense of collective self-awareness and that extends to their relationships with others.
They tend to be more connected to their family, friends and community. A Harvard study of Adult Development found that people who have close meaningful relationships are physically healthier and live longer than those who are less connected.
Going one step further, if you’re into fair-trade clothing, for example, you’re bound to find your tribe who share your interests and passion.
That strengthens and reinforces your cause because you’re part of a community that’s determined to raise awareness for ethically made goods.
Naturally, you will develop a more positive mindset and the strong sense of belonging and support from others makes you more resilient to challenges.
Most socially conscious consumers buy from businesses with a long-term vision to make an impact.
To them, generosity through contribution plays an integral role in their consumption of goods as well as how they function as individuals.
A Harvard Business Review analysis showed that there was a robust link between a sharing and generous person and his work productivity that ultimately influenced their level of fulfilment and happiness at work.
The analysis found that higher rates of giving predicted levels of higher unit profitability, efficiency and customer satisfaction all while lowering costs and staff turnover rates.
When employees are generous, they facilitate efficient problem solving and coordination and build cohesive, supportive cultures that appeal to customers, suppliers, and top talent alike.
So when you’re generous, others will follow and an ecosystem of generosity is created where everyone is more efficient, productive, rewarded and happy.
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