women at the thrift store

Conscious Consumerism

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.


Buying new is the easiest way to shop, but it isn’t always the most sustainable. I know that when I want to buy something, I don’t want to think about where it came from or how much energy was wasted in getting it into my hands. But as a conscious consumer, you have an opportunity not only to reduce your carbon footprint but also to help others by making informed decisions about what goes into your closet and shopping bag. That’s why we’re going through five easy steps that will help you make smarter choices when buying new things—and feel good about doing so!

Understand that second hand isn’t gross

Find your local Goodwill or resale store

If you have unwanted clothing, household items, or even old electronics to donate to charity—especially ones with sentimental value—Goodwill is a great choice. They are both a nonprofit organization that provides jobs for people with disabilities and also one of the largest secondhand retailers in the country. There are more than 3,100 stores across the United States and Canada, so finding one near you should be easy!

Once I’d found my local Goodwill store (which is right by my house), I went inside and asked if they would take donations of clothing or other goods. The employee didn’t seem too interested until I told him that they could make their way into the hands of someone who really needed them. He told me that all types of donations were welcome at his location because it helped people turn their lives around by getting them back on their feet after losing everything in a disaster (like Hurricane Katrina).

Put aside the idea that you must buy new

It’s time to put aside the idea that you must buy new.

This means giving up the guilt of buying used, second hand, recycled and green products. If a product is truly made to last, it should not be considered “used” or “second hand.” I’ve found this is especially true of clothes—if you look hard enough in your neighborhood thrift store or at a local boutique on Etsy (another great resource for conscious consumers), there will always be something unique and stylish available for less than half its original price tag. The same goes for furniture: if you want quality pieces that can last generations then hunt around for antiques rather than opting for cheaply made particle board pieces from Ikea or Walmart.

When you do go shopping, look for companies that produce sustainable products

When you do go shopping, look for companies that produce sustainable products.

Ask companies questions about their sustainability practices and boycott when necessary

You can also help combat the problem by asking companies questions about their sustainability practices and boycotting when necessary.

Donate unwanted items to organizations that can redistribute them for education or humanitarian needs

You may have noticed that many charities are struggling, and it’s not just because of the recession. People are donating less than they used to, which means organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity have a lot less money than they were able to use in years past.

If you’re thinking about giving your clothes away (or even selling them), consider donating your items instead. When you donate unused items instead of throwing them away or selling them at a garage sale or thrift store, it frees up space in your home while also helping those who could benefit from the things you no longer need.

When you donate items that may be useful to someone else—like clothing or household goods—you can feel good knowing that someone else will be able to make use of them without having to buy new ones themselves. Many charitable organizations rely on donations from people like yourself who want their money spent most effectively; if everyone donated their unwanted stuff instead of tossing it out with the trash, these groups would have more resources available for those truly in need!

You don’t have to buy new to be a conscious consumer!

You don’t have to buy new to be a conscious consumer!

Conscious consumers are those who consider the environmental and social impact of their purchases. They look at where things come from, how they’re made and what happens to them when they’re finished with.

You can reduce your carbon footprint by looking for second-hand goods or buying from companies that produce sustainable products. You can also ask companies questions about their sustainability practices when you shop for clothes and electronics, for example.


I think the most important takeaway from this article is that you don’t have to be ashamed of your choices. Whether you decide to buy new or second hand, it’s important that you do so in a way that doesn’t contribute unnecessarily to pollution or waste. After all, our earth can only take so much abuse before she retaliates! So whether it’s buying sustainable products or donating unwanted items—just remember: being conscious about what goes into your shopping bag is an easy way to start making an impact on our planet now

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