I wear fast fashion, work for a retailer, and I eat packaged (and sadly also often processed) foods.
I can’t help but admit that consumerism has somewhat consumed me.
Despite making active steps towards a more sustainable life, such as giving up meat, I still have a long way to go.
We so often blame our surroundings (myself included) for our overtly consumerist attitudes; growing up in a capitalist western nation what do you expect?
Well we should expect more.
We exist in a world saturated with ‘bought goods’, and although singlehandedly you may not be able to overcome the highly complicated and negative consequences of consumerism; from issues surrounding climate change to the rights of workers in factories in the far east, you can still make a difference.
The butterfly effect is ever potent.
The amount of people who have criticised my choice to be a vegetarian with moans such as “You giving up meat won’t mean less animals will be killed” have been pretty much ringing in my ears for the last 9 months.
One person can inspire another, and then another and then… domino effect; real change achieved.
That is why I’m stepping up and making some conscious changes in own real life, and I’m putting it here in writing so I can have a right good go at myself if I don’t follow them through!
Here are some promises I’m making to myself, that will lead to me living a more sustainable life that takes into account a lot more than just the ego-self, and that tries to neglect the negative aspects of consumerism.
Make Steps Towards Veganism
I surprised myself, and everyone around me when I gave up meat last summer. I knew that veganism was the end goal, but for me going (pardon the pun) cold turkey would have me set for failure as my diet was (and is still probably) poor to say the least.
I am going to make a real effort to commit to eating more vegan meals, and ease myself into a plant-based diet.
Buy Second-Hand Clothing or from Sustainable Brands
Obviously this one has it’s limitations; truthfully I don’t fancy wearing some random woman’s old underwear, but each to their own.
However, I really find my own (and the world’s) obsession with fast fashion rather alarming. Especially when we know so little about the manufacturing process. Therefore, already being a HUGE advocate for charity-shop-shopping, I have decided to get rummaging and commit to making second-hand clothing as a first-stop-shop.
We all (should) know by now that packaging is the devil. It is completely unnecessary in many cases – why does a banana need to be in a plastic bag when it already has a skin?!
Therefore, I pledge to be more cautious when shopping, steering clear of heavily packaged items and whipping out that bag for life a hell of a lot more!
Changing my Mind-set
Education is the greatest tool available to us. Being more aware of issues we face globally (not just the problems the ego believes we possess) will in turn lead to better choices and more people coming together to achieve positive change.
I aim to get clued up on more issues that affect the whole world, as we should see ourselves of ‘citizens of the world’ not just of the UK or wherever we lay our heads.
We must help each other, as we all share the same planet, and I ain’t just talking about helping other humans!
Alongside this self-education I also hope to enrich my free time with more creative and freeing activities, rather than just mindless scrolling through my phone for hours on end.
When we are given a choice in life, it seems foolish to opt for the easy one if it isn’t the one that is morally right.
Given our position of great privilege (speaking personally, I’m not assuming that everyone shares this) we must be more mindful; letting our conscience and greater love for the world inform our decisions, rather than just our egos.