With a rise in social issue such as, workers’ rights and ethical sourcing, many people have decided to become more aware of their consumption. Choosing to buy goods and services that are more socially responsible to the environment, society, and themselves. However, being socially responsible is a lifestyle change and can be difficult understanding where to start. So here are a few easy ideas.
One of the main changes of starting the socially responsible lifestyle is research. To successfully be socially responsible, you must be able to identify ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly businesses and goods. There are also many businesses unfortunately, that try and take advantage of these trends without understanding exactly what it means. It is also important to understand that not all socially responsible businesses are the same.
Some businesses choose to focus on ethical sourcing, some on environmentally friendly sourcing, some focus on local production, or make vegan products, and others focus on social issues. It is important to research a company and understand how they decide to be socially responsible and if their views and ethos align with your own. A simple google search on companies and their sources can help give you a better understanding of what they believe in and how they operate.
Buy sustainable, locally, or DIY
Being socially responsible is usually associated with being environmentally friendly but it can also refer to working conditions and people. Take for example a product bought by a massive company and the conditions of a factory used to produce the item. Being socially responsible would mean that you buy products from businesses that are Fairtrade, use ethical working conditions and sustainable practices.
Buying sustainable is an easy way to ensuring your money goes to being social responsible. However, it is sometimes difficult finding exactly what you need. Buying locally can help diminish the environmental impact via transportation emissions. Buying locally like at your farmers market helps reduce pollution and helps local farmers.
Of course, if you can’t find what you are looking for you can also do it yourself. Growing your own food, making your own household supplies, or making your own furniture is one of the only ways to make sure that sourcing and products are 100% ethical and sustainable.
One of the easier ways to ensure that you are also socially responsible is by consuming less and reducing your waste. Fashion icon Vivienne Westwood has been famously quoted for promoting this with “Buy less, choose well, Make it last.” Being a mindful consumer is a key change in becoming socially responsible. It is fun to make whimsical and impulsive buys sometimes, but it is important to remember that every purchase has a ripple effect.
Reducing the number of products that are not socially responsible can help change the industry. Not buying goods and services can be just as important as buying socially responsible products.
Other ways to start socially responsible living
- Consider composting, if you have even a small garden or backyard, start composting your food waste.
- Try having one meat-free day a week.
- Reuse, visit thrift shops and yard sales. (Thrift shops like My Sister’s Closet have become some of my new favorite shopping destinations)
- When buying fresh ingredients, try sticking to seasonal ones.
- Look for fair trade brands. You’ll be surprised at how affordable prices are.