Community, and as a by-product, conscious consumerism, are huge topics for me. I think a lot. I say to myself, ok, let’s not just take this at face value. Let’s sit down and pick it apart. And often it doesn’t go beyond that–I think about it. I don’t join a group or start an organization: I just think about it and go on about my way. But one thing I have made a true effort to change in my daily lifestyle is consumerism. How are the aforementioned topics related? Oh, very closely.
It starts with the Government. I thought a lot about our Government and our Country. There are too many schisms, I thought. We aren’t one unit anymore, and people get lost in the vastness of it. Most people in my generation don’t take action on what we care about because we have the world at our fingertips… and it is too big. We say, “How can I conquer this?” But if you just look around at your local community, it doesn’t seem so unimaginable to make a difference. After all that thinking, I came to this conclusion: strong communities are the building blocks of a unified nation. Preferably one with over-all good intentions. Impossible? No it’s not impossible. You just start with your community.
A good community comprises many things. One is involved people who love and care about each other. Another is health–a healthy biosphere and healthy food lead to healthy people. Another thing–a very important thing–is industry and commerce. In order for a community to thrive, it needs talented people, places for them to work, quality goods and a thriving economy. That is where conscious consumerism comes in.
You see, if you are like me and you want to support a healthy community, you have to think about what you buy, where it comes from, and what it is made of. This is important for the individual’s health as well as the community’s. Items made of toxic chemicals are bad for the environment and the health of the people. Your dollar is a vote. When you buy something from a company, you aren’t just making one purchase: You are supporting that company. You are saying, “Hey, I vote for you. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing.” Therefor it is important to support companies who make good quality products, contribute the community, and treat their employees well. Is this idealistic? Sure. But striving to live up to ideals is how people and communities can improve.
There is also the obvious benefit of buying locally–supporting the local commerce. If no one is buying locally, that community isn’t getting any money, and its economy will deteriorate. You need a good internal economy as well as imports and exports.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, so thank you anyone who is reading! My lifestyle had greatly evolved as I continue to become an independent citizen and conscious consumer. I pay more for things because they come from companies I believe in and they are made of ingredients/materials I trust. I don’t make very many whim buys (when I do, it is usually coffee!) People get annoyed at me because I try to eradicate plastic from my life. I don’t want to fund slave labor overseas. I don’t want to fund toxic chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere. I don’t want to be any part of the quick & easy thoughtless consumerism lifestyle. I am passionate about this because I believe good, quality items are better for those producing and those making the purchase. I believe helping our environment and being mindful of our home is the key to sustainable living. I believe a strong community can reduce crime and poverty and increase health and happiness. Yes, I believe in happiness! I believe that if we build strong communities, we can have a strong and mindful government, and we can be unified as a country.
Thank you for giving me a moment on this soap box.
*Inspired by the Daily Prompt