Friday, January 27, 2012

Step 1 - Knowledge

Over the next 12 months I will highlight the 12 steps towards becoming a conscious consumer and helping to localize the economy. Most, if not all, of these steps take a small amount of effort, but offer a big amount of change. If each of us do our best to follow these guidelines and to become more aware of our consuming habits, then I believe we can change the broken system of our flailing economy.

Flip over the products and look where it was made or grown, and look at the ingredients or products that go into it. Read up on companies and corporations you buy from most often. As many children of the 1980’s remember, GI Joe says “knowing is half the battle.” With every purchase we are making a vote for that product and who produces it. It’s unlikely that we would go to the voting polls on Election Day without having done a little bit of research on who we are voting for, so we should hold ourselves to the same standard at the store. 

CHALLENGE: Next time you go to the grocery store, or to any store, before you purchase an item find out where it came from. If you still decide to purchase the item, you have at least educated yourself and are fully aware of where the items you consume come from. That's a big step in and of itself. You may also find that you flip over an item and see it comes from Brazil, while a similar item comes from New York, and as long as cost allows, buying the closer product is a big step. 

Being a knowledgeable consumer is the first step towards making change, because without the knowledge, it's impossible to make accurately informed decisions. Every dollar spent is a vote for the company/business you're shopping at, and every product you're consuming. In order to make accurate purchases, gather all the information you can. A great book that can assist with this is The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference. The authors rate products, businesses and corporations based on a well-explained system of grading. There is a handy pocket-sized version that you can take shopping with you, too, so you don't have to memorize their rating system and what companies get A's and which get F'.



  1. Can hardly wait to read the finished book.

  2. And I'm anxious to see the full book complete. I'm working with Samantha Goad-Ricker to bring this information to all of us. Samantha, the blog is a great idea.