Mindful Consumerism - part 2
Being mindful that we are shopping in-line with our values: Featuring a favorite conscious business
Last week i began a series on being more mindful of shopping. There is SO much to cover when it comes to the mechanisms behind consumerism that i thought it would be best to break it down into a few posts - This week is covering how to think about our values, others, and the planet while making purchases.
There are also a lot of questions about where or who to buy from. So i thought i would shine light on some of my favorite people, businesses and shops to buy from in these series as well.
First and foremost, it is important to take a few moments to outline what you value when it comes to your own personal needs, the needs of others and Mama Earth. That can be a very broad, as well as daunting question because it is not something that most of us think about often. So let's slow it down and really unpack it.
What is it that you value?
A value is something that is near and dear to us, it is something that is important, and it is most often a quality, characteristic or a behavior. It is something that we might already possess or set boundaries around OR it could be something that we are striving for.
It can help to start with a specific "life domain" or area of life when it comes to outlining our values; in this instance, shopping, spending and anything that has to do with making purchases is the life domain we are focusing on. Grab a pen and paper, this will also help you check-in with yourself moving forward.
1.) Your Needs
What is it that you personally value when it comes to shopping? What is important in your behaviors? Your characteristics? What thoughts do you have around shopping? Some examples might include:
Conscious about spending habits - frugalness, thrifty, careful, conservative.
Tuning into effects of shopping - unwasteful, economical, ecofriendly
Thinking about the product - objective, equitable, open-minded
Now these are merely just a few suggestions, and these suggestions might not at all be close to what you value. When identifying values, it is important to uncover what is important to YOU, not what everyone else says is important.
There is a fascinating psychological phenomenon called a need for affiliation. As humans, we have the desire to affiliate; to be with others and to form social relationships and connections. This is part of the way in which humans survive, and yet it also leads to jump our own value ship and to conform with what others are doing. Recent psychological research has revealed that we will go to extreme lengths to affiliate and connect with others, even if it entails abandoning our personal values.
2.) Impact on Others'
This one can seemingly conflict with number one - because i did indeed just say that when outlining values, we make sure to identify our own values and ensure that we are not just conforming with the status quo.
When looking at our values in relation to others, the key is in looking at how our actions and behaviors impact those around us. Then outlining what we value within that interaction. Some examples:
Supporting people with similar values - considerate, cooperative, supportive
Thinking about relationships and spending - communicative, promising, respectful, generous
Conscious about product process: Who is making the product? What do they get paid? What are their working conditions? - aware, resourceful, inquisitive
3.) The environment: Mama Earth
This one i debated adding, because i don't want to assume that everyone thinks about or values the impact consumerism has on our planet. However, i do believe it is a large part of conscious and mindful shopping. Just like our spending impacts others, it also has a large impact on our eco system.
Conscious about the impact of product on the Earth - cognizant of the Planet
What is the carbon footprint? What type of packaging do they use? How far did this item travel to get to you?
What does the company itself do to be Earth-friendly?
Now most of us would love to say that we will always be helping others and the planet. However psychological research says otherwise. Dr. Batson and his colleagues have observed through research something call the empathy altruism hypothesis. If we relate to someone, see similarities with them or come from the same group (basically if we empathize with someone) we will most likely hold a humanitarian stance in our interactions with them. However, most of the time, we will only be altruistic if the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs.
So how this plays out in real life, real language. If you do not know who is impacted or have a face to face interaction with people involved in the purchase, you are most likely to take the simpler, less taxing route. If ordering online is easier then walking a half mile to the local market then most of us take the online option - even if doing so contradicts our values! Again, i will say awareness is our most powerful tool. Now that you know of these phenomenon, change can be made.
The Practice: Check-in
After all this value work, you might be noticing that you are not living 100% in-line doing all the things related to your values. That is OK, because you are not required to make all these changes at once. It can take time and daily check-ins to begin shifting some of our behaviors and habits to fit more closely with what we value.
Over the next week, pull out this list you just created and observe with a curious and loving lens - have you been doing the things? Have your actions been consistent with these values? If you notice that a value is being missed, what is one thing you can do to have more of it in your life?
I would love to hear how this goes if you try it out - do not be shy to comment below.
Featured Shop: High Bun Hippies
One of the best names for a business ever.
Plus, Alisha James - owner, operator, chief financial officer, wife and momma of three -
is upholding some of the most conscious behaviors as she wears all these hats.
High Bun Hippies is an online and in-home wellness shop for health and beauty products. Alisha James herself has been trained as a Licensed Aesthetician so she has all the knowledge on skincare. As a self-proclaimed hippy, she ensures she puts love and care into every product.
A few reasons to love this shop:
The products are all natural and cruelty-free
Every product is custom and hand-made by Alisha herself
The instagram page is full of self-awareness practice, amazing insprational quotes and the products are great for self-care
There is love and mindfulness going into the process of making these items.
The products themselves are beautiful.
Her children are freaking adorable! If you don't believe me, check out her instagram:
be well. live with love and kindness.
If you have any questions or comments you can leave them below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org