10 Ideas for More Virtuous Consumption

(ref: The Virtuous Consumer by Leslie Garrett)

  1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – Reduce the number of things you purchase, and reduce the eco-footprint of whatever you do purchase by ensuring that it’s the most planet-friendly option you can afford.
  2. Create a Community That Feeds Your Soul – You are doing this when you live, work, and shop to support those around you. (Ex: Avoid a long-distance commute by telecommuting; purchase from local businesses; get involved in local politics; plant a tree)
  3. Use Manpower (or Womanpower) – Get around by cycling, walking, inline skating, or taking public transportation when possible.
  4. Purchase Green Power – A call to your utility company can ensure that the equivalent energy required for your home comes from renewable sources.
  5. Don’t Sweat the Really Small Stuff – Choose those things/ideas that work for you and your family. Guilt sucks.
  6. Consider the Life Cycle of Any Product – Before making a purchase, consider asking yourself…
    What materials went into making the product? How was this product manufactured? How was it transported? How long will the product be used? How will it be disposed of?
  7. Be Generous – Give what you can, whether it’s your time, your stuff, and/or your money.
  8. Be Kind – To yourself, to that person in front of you in the supermarket’s express line with 23 items, to the person halfway around the world (or next door) who looks different from you but who also loves his family, his country, his life…
  9. Be Informed – Keep up to date as best you can. Inform yourself about issues that matter to you.
  10. Awaken Your Inner Activist – You care deeply for the future of this planet (which is probably why you are still reading this list). That makes you a political force. Every dollar we spend is a political act.