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Putting Your Resources Toward A Sustainable Future

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by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder

There’s no doubt that living within a society where governments and people prioritize corporations over the planet is a negative experience. Knowing many businesses are actively or passively harming the planet is particularly stressful.

This doesn’t mean you’re entirely powerless to respond, though. The purchasing decisions you make and your interactions with companies can make a difference. While it can feel as though some of these companies are too big to stop, your commitment to living a greener and more wholesome life can be a good influence. As more people work together to become more conscientious and ethical, the tide can change and result in a better way of living.

We’re going to review some of the elements you should focus on when putting your resources toward a more sustainable future.

Identifying Ethical Practices

The consumer decisions you make don’t just have the power to affect widespread change. They also reflect your personal ethical standards. It’s vital for your environmental efficacy, psychological peace of mind, and spiritual wellbeing to find companies that align with your ethics. As such, the most basic first step of putting your resources toward a more sustainable future is taking responsibility for effective ethical research into the companies you interact with.

Some industries of focus here can include:

●  Clothing

Clothing and fashion manufacturers have some clear areas of concern when it comes to their ethics. Fast fashion may be cheap and plentiful but it also tends to involve poor labor practices and unsustainable materials. You should perform research into reliable brands that are transparent about their production methods and material sources. Look at not just brands’ own websites but those of their partners. Alongside your other sustainability actions like buying used and long-life items of clothing, this knowledge can help ensure you aren’t contributing to unsustainable behavior.

●  Beauty

One of the most prevalent ethical concerns with businesses in the beauty industry is green washing. This is where companies will use their packaging and advertising to suggest sustainable practices while in fact, they are anything but green. Be wary of vague language like “organic” or “natural” on packaging and branding. Green washing companies often use this to lead consumers into thinking their products are more ethically produced than they are. Where there isn’t tangible evidence of sustainability, be sure to research the companies’ processes a little deeper.

Keeping Abreast of Alternative Options

The fact that there is a greater focus on environmental and social responsibility means there are frequent developments in your choices as a consumer. It’s important to keep abreast of the news on these advances and about who is providing or investing in such items.

Some aspects to look out for include:

●  Alternative materials

Part of the issue with our environment is our choices of materials have been actively damaging to the environment. This has usually either been from the perspective of putting too much pressure on finite resources or using polluting materials. Some companies are involved in developing and using alternative sustainable materials. For instance, fungus is currently being explored as an effective material for construction and smart fabrics. This is not just a more sustainable raw product, it also has exciting possibilities as a technology. Some companies are already starting to offer fungus-based materials as an alternative to leather. By keeping on top of the news of such developments, you can be an early adopter of greener methods.

●  Renewable energy resources

Another key area of concern as a consumer is how finite or polluting energy resources are utilized by companies. The fact is, alternatives to coal, oil, and nuclear-powered electricity are more accessible than ever. Not to mention that electric vehicles are becoming more affordable. As such, it’s worth keeping on top of how the companies you interact with are exploring, trialing, and adopting alternative energy sources in their businesses. Indeed, in your own home, it’s wise to investigate which local utility providers are switching to green methods and invest your dollars in them.

Getting More Actively Involved

Making more responsible purchasing and consumer decisions is a vital tool to promote a sustainable future. But you may feel you want to do more. This can help you to feel more empowered to make significant positive changes in the world. As such, getting actively involved in improving corporate sustainability can be a good approach.

This could include:

●  Community education

The individual actions you take in responsible purchasing are a good start. But lasting change requires input from the wider community both now and in the future. Unfortunately, a lot of the public doesn’t know where to begin here. You can join or start initiatives in your local area to provide information and resources for community members to make ethical and sustainable shopping choices. It can be particularly vital to focus on empowering children in this regard. Not only do they represent the future of consumers, they also haven’t developed irresponsible shopping habits that may be harder to change.

●  Local action

It’s not just the big corporations that need to change. Small and medium-sized brands must be more sustainable, too. You could organize initiatives in your community to speak to local business owners about their commitment to green and ethical practices. This could function on an individual business-by-business basis as well as collaborating with the local chamber of commerce to encourage their members to adapt. Often, these companies are more reliant on community consumers and workers to operate, so pressure from the community may be more effective.


If you are committed to helping achieve a more sustainable future, one of your areas of focus should be your activities as a consumer. Keep researching the ethical actions of businesses and only support those brands behaving responsibly. Stay on top of developments in alternative resources and which businesses are spearheading their use. You can also be more actively engaged by working with community initiatives for education and local business activities. There is an urgent need to reduce the negative impact on the planet. Only supporting the most responsible business can be a solid step in the right direction.

About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.

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