When I think of favourite green tips, long laundry lists come to mind, so I’ve opted instead for maybe one over-arching tip. I think ultimately, if you want to respect the earth you’re living on and dependent upon, you need to practice mindful consumption.
What does mindful consumption mean? To me, it means being intentional about buying and consuming goods and services, with an explicit, unwavering knowledge that everything we buy requires resources from the earth. Being mindful about those purposes means thinking about whether our consumption has appropriate value to us considering its real cost.
This real cost goes beyond the sticker price and asks what was the cost to the person who made or grew it, and the earth that produced it? How much energy did it require to bring it to you and how much packaging will go in the garbage after it is consumed? How much pleasure does it give you and for how long, and what is the quality of that pleasure?
I read somewhere that spending money means voting with our dollars, and I believe it’s true. Money talks. Whether we are conscious of it or not, the way we spend our money translates into supporting people, companies and practices. I may not have much money, but I’ve got some, and I like the idea of wielding whatever power may be in it in the direction I choose.
The beautiful thing about mindful consumption is that it brings one’s purchases into alignment with what you actually believe, and maybe even helps you to define what that is. Spending less on the-everything-that’s-everywhere will mean having more to invest in what matters most to you. Being mindful about how we consume is a path to clarity, respect for the earth, and peace of mind, which naturally makes it priceless.