Conscious Consuming and Changing Buying Habits

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Most of us are really keen to do the right thing when it comes to being more sustainable and reducing our waste. 

Unfortunately, we live in a world full of advertising and messages pushing us to consume more and more, when actually we don’t really need more.  

There are plenty of we can buy in a more conscious manner, that will not only save our wallet, but save the planet, and add to our overall happiness. Bring it on I say!  

Key considerations for when you are buying something new;- 

1.Think about ‘How did it get to me’?

  • Is this using raw materials or recycled materials?  
  • How much packaging does this item have that can’t be reused? 
  • Who made it?  
  • Who is benefitting from this purchase? Is a large retailer benefiting, or a small bespoke manufacturer or person benefiting?   
  • Are staff being paid properly to produce this item?  


2. How long will its life be with me? 

  • Is it going to be well-used for many years or is it something that is being purchased for a ‘hit’? 
  • Is it going to work well with everything else I own?  Is it going to fit in with my home and lifestyle?   
  • Does it have multiple uses?   
  • Do I already have something at home that could do what this does?   

3. Think about the items End of life: 

  • If I no longer want this item, what am I going to do with it?   
  • Is it high enough quality to donate?   
  • Is it going to be recyclable?   
  • Can I upcycle it?   
  • What is its shelf life with me? Am I going to have it for a long time? 

 ‘Fast fashion interiors’ mentality  

The concept of “fast fashion interiors” is a term I’ve been using for a long time. It embodies the notion that regardless of the initial cost, the mindset of disposability ultimately cheapens the value.  

We need to shift our perspective towards products, andbuying habits, that are linked to a longer-term view. Higher quality products that mean something and are intended for the long term, rather than cheaper products intended to be disposed of from the outset. This prompts us to to reconsider our approach to purchasing, emphasising the significance of intent behind each purchase.  

How to be a more conscious consumer  

  • Make sure you don’t already have it.   
  • Declutter – you may find you have it or something similar. 
  • Borrow it  
  • Can you buy it used/ second-hand? 
  • Is it repairable?  

 Being a conscious consumer with home renovations and new builds  

  • Retrofitting and repairing is often better than building new. 
  • Building a more sustainable home is about the design and how it’s built.  
  • Using materials that have environmental credentials – eg Green Tag  
  • Filling our homes with things we love because if they mean something, they will stay with us longer . 
  • Buying quality items that will last instead of ‘cheap and cheerful’. 
  • European approach – save and buy really good quality that you plan to keep for years. 
  • Do not buy everything at once. Live in the home first and work out what you really need based on how you use different spaces.  

 Two easiest things that you can do to become a more sustainable consumer  

  • Always choose less (plan and create boundaries) Recycling will not save us! 
  • Support the businesses paving the way for a better future. 

 To find out more about this topic, listen to the My Forever Home podcast episode – Conscious Consuming and Changing Buying Habits