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5 tips on more responsibile and conscious consumption



Kirjoittanut: Sanni Hujanen - tiimistä Saawa.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Published originally on LinkedIn.

Last Saturday, me and Susanna Mäkelä had the opportunity to speak at the Secondhand Vanha Tehdas event about more responsible and conscious consumption and share our 5 tips related to the topic.

Here is a list of the tips we shared:

1. Be more aware

There are a lot of emotions associated with spending and we make decisions based on emotions. It is important to develop your own emotional skills and to consider your purchases more carefully. What do I want and what do I need? Considering is related to the idea that our emotions are included in everything we do, but emotions come and go just like thoughts. We usually experience the most pleasure when planning the purchase of a product, when we still imagine that the purchase will improve our lives. It is therefore important to give the purchase decision time, so that making it is not based on the whim of the moment or an emotional impulse. The pleasure decreases quickly after the purchase.

It is also good to stop and think about our own consumption habits and examine them. For example, advertising constantly creates non-existent needs for us, and we have many unconscious reasons to consume, and we may subconsciously hope that materialistic things will improve our lives when the truth may be completely different.

2. Invest in quality and take care of your existing things

This may go without saying, but we need to get away from the disposable culture and take care of the things we already have. Maybe investing in quality and paying a little more for things also causes us to want to take better care of these things as well?

3. Buy second-hand, borrow and rent

This is somewhat related to the previous point: moving from disposable culture or a linear economy towards a circular economy. Our world is full of stuff, and we need to keep this stuff circulating. Buying things second-hand saves natural resources, but if buying second-hand maintains the idea that we should always have something new, that is also problematic. We also may not need to own every item ourself, so renting and borrowing items are also choices for a more aware consumer.

4. Consume less

In the midst of the climate crisis, it is impossible not to mention that consumption would have to be significantly reduced. If the world’s other inhabitants all consumed natural resources like Finns, it would require 4 earths. We live in an overconsumption society, and it is an unsustainable way of living from the standpoint of nature. So could we get the pleasure we get from consuming in some other way? What really brings joy and meaning to our lives?

5. We are all influencers

Consumption is one of our key means of influence: what kind of companies do we want to support with our consumption choices? It is often difficult to find out whether a product or a company is ecologically and ethically sustainable, and the task of finding out should not be as strongly on the part of the consumer as it is today. However, it’s good to ask companies about the production conditions of different products and give them feedback.

Our behavior also has a ripple effect on other people. For example, it has an effect on other people what we share on social media and the content we follow has an impact on us. So, do we share or follow content idealizing consumption? Of course, we can also influence the larger structures of society by voting.

What other tips come to mind regarding more responsible and conscious consumption?

References:

Mäntylä, T. 2022. Vastuullisen kuluttajan ABC. Osa 2: Tunteet ja kuluttaminen. Luento. Opintokeskus Visio. https://youtu.be/RkfO1YLawRw

Thurén, J. 2021. Kaikki kuluttamisesta – Näin aloin käyttämään rahojani paremmin. Helsinki: Gummerus

 

An advocate for a fairer and more sustainable world.

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