Looking at the present day situation of the world and environment, there is a real need to adopt a green way of living. Not only for the environment’s sake but the individual also, a green way of living is a safer option today. There is disbelief among people that organic way of living or the green way of living are extremely heavy on the pocket and are suitable only for the rich and high-class people. This article works to break such stereotypical notions between high class and green living and makes a suggestion on how to adopting and adapting to some smart consumerism tips one can lead a green way of life.
We all are consumers. In general terms, a consumer may be someone who buys or uses the facility of some sort to his or her benefit. By the virtue of our birth on Earth, we all are born consumers. We consume or intake the resources and gifts of nature of oxygen, light, warmth, food and similar things. Humans have consumed and are consuming everything possible out of Earth. From the rocks and minerals to fossil fuels, to the green forests, to the crops and vegetation, to animals and birds to underwater life, we have consumed whatever we required. We have consumed nature and its resources in original and natural forms as well as in man-made processed goods forms as well.
But, with time, this consumerism is becoming complicated. We have been used to “consume” for such a long time that we have forgotten the need to “produce” and “conserve”. We are taking nature’s productivity for granted and are ruthlessly using it. But this is high time to shift our focus from being just the ruthless, selfish consumers to become “smart consumers” and adopt a consumerism that leads to a green way of life.
To understand this further, let us first understand how consumerism can be of help to Nature. As explained above, we are all since our births consumers of Nature in many ways. To help the Nature we have to adopt a lifestyle that is a part of consuming but does not negate or reject the ideas of production and conservation along with consumerism.
There are several steps that can be taken in this direction.
To start with, let us first begin by understanding and putting to use the very famous 3R’s rule. The 3R’s – recycle, reuse and reduce is something we all aware of. But for clearer understanding we have to understand what these three R’s depict. Recycle is the process where the production cycle is repeated or re-done to use the product again. This ensures that there is no need to generate raw material for production as the old good here becomes the raw material and recycling also ensures that the pollution in environment in held under control. For example: paper, plastic and glass bottles are often send to recycling units. There these are deformed, made into some raw material and then re-used to become final products. Thus recycling controls pollution by not wasting away non-biodegradable wastes and recycling them for consumers. Reuse is to re-use something as much as possible instead of buying new and wasting away the old one. Clothes for example can be re-used for a long time, and if they are not of your use anymore they can be used as cleaning rags and various other things. Electrical appliances for this case are very important to be reused and not be discarded. Reduce is the step where a consumer has to reduce his or her energy and resource consumption to cut down on money and help in mutual profit of environment and self. Like by reducing our usage of electricity and avoiding wastage of water we can save a lot of money in a year which can be used in other ways.
Other steps to smart consumerism involve an active participation of the consumer in everything that entails his or her need. If the government is doing price hikes, he or she should be aware of it and should have in mind to what to do in such a situation. A smart consumer would not be attracted by “new things” in the market but will focus on how to use the best of what he or she already has at hand. He or she will use whatever resources they have and when the need arises he or she will buy something that has longevity, energy efficiency mark (in electrical appliances), reasonable cost and with proper guarantee or warranty details.
Now, in the present day scene, a consumer can turn his or her life into green living and save a lot on money by firstly using the three R’s. Then by planning the budget to reduce wastage and buy only things that are necessary for the moment. Further by planting some fruits and vegetables we can ensure healthy and nutritious diet and cut on the money to buy these from the market. By using less of electricity, water and fuel we can save a lot monthly.
Before buying new things ensure yourself of what are you going to do the old things? Do not keep storing old items in a store room instead use them in a creative manner and if that is not possible, get the old things repaired and in working condition and then either sell these to someone in need or distribute it some NGO. By this you are saving money, ensuring that the waste does not pile up, helping some in dire need and also receiving blessings.
And to conclude, one has to remember a smart consumer would never keep his “smart techniques” to himself or herself. He or she should think of innovative and new ideas that help save money and promote green living and then share these with people who are not aware of it. Smart consumerism should be adopted as a trend so that people get what they want, at reasonable prices, in good condition and in a situation that benefits nature and humans equally.