10 Easy Ways To Be An Ethical Consumer

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/20/22 •  4 min read

Here are 10 Easy Ways To Be An Ethical Consumer. Every time you purchase an item you vote with your dollars on what you wish to see more or less of. Make it count!

1. Go Vegan

Not only is ditching meat and dairy is the most direct way to reduce animal suffering but it’s also one of the best things you can do for the planet. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change and provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland! Go plant based for animals, the planet and your health.

Check out this ingredient guide and material guide to quickly see what’s vegan and what’s not.

2. Buy Locally

Buying locally reduces carbon emissions that come with cross country transportation (but more often cross continental). Our food and clothing often make a journey around the world! Shop nearby at farmers markets and support your neighbor’s small businesses and boost local economy.

3. Shop For What’s In Season

Reduce the amount of “food miles” your strawberries and watermelons accumulate by selecting what’s in season and not transported from warmer climates during winter months. Besides…fruits and vegetables are far more nutritious when they’ve had time to ripen on the vine!

4. Avoid Plastics

When shopping don’t forget your reusable bags. Refuse single use plastic packaging at check-out. Bring a reusable glass bottles with you to refill instead of purchasing plastic water bottles. Observe how much plastic is around you and think of ways you can personally cut back. See which materials are recyclable.

5. Know What To Buy Fair Trade

Tea, coffee and chocolate are some items to absolutely buy only if they’re fair trade. Why? Because some regions of the world don’t have proper laws and regulations in place that protect workers. As a result, you may contribute to child labor, worker mistreatment and exploitation when buying certain items associated with high rates of human rights abuse.

6. Buy Organic

Sure, buying organic foods and personal care products is undeniably better for our health. Who wants to ingest dangerous, toxic chemicals? Buying organic is also crucial for a healthy planet. Additionally, such toxins pollute water systems, air quality and effect ecosystems and wildlife. Buy organic foods, materials and personal care products to reduce contamination and for the health of our environment.

7. Recycle And Compost Your Waste

Zero waste is ideal but often unrealistic as plastic packaging is seemingly unavoidable. So the next best thing we can do is make sure we recycle. Know what types of paper, plastic and other materials your city recycling accepts. Composting is great if you have the time, for instance. But if not, food waste like broccoli stalks, apple cores and old carrots can easily be thrown into the backyard brush to decompose naturally and offer squirrels a tasty treat.

Check out this recyclable materials list.

8. Buy Used / Second Hand

Thrift stores are full of timeless, inexpensive clothing that has already proven its durability. Stop buying new things at Wal-Mart and IKEA when you can find other gently used household items in your area on social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist as well as summertime yard sales.

9. Buy Cruelty Free

Unfortunately, animal testing occurs around the world and is sometimes even required before allowing products like shampoo and soap to be sold to the public! There are plenty of brands that have put an end to this horrific process that tortures rabbits, mice and even dogs! Be sure to support companies that are certified cruelty free.

Download the HEALabel app to easily find new and innovative cruelty free brands.

10. Buy Less

That’s right! One of the best ways to be an ethical consumer is to just buy less altogether. We often buy things we want don’t certainly don’t need. Save your money and help save the planet by consuming less. Live minimally and help reduce harmful demand.

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

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