Being a consumer in a society heavily dictated by big business, the individual can feel quite hopeless in making change. Hopelessness about the individual impact is what the greed of corporations depend on. Without hope, the individual consumer-based market is easy to control. This is not the case! Where you spend each dollar has broad impacts and can contribute toward a greener, sustainable future. Being informed about your purchases is the first step in achieving a green carbon footprint, as where you spend your money sends a clear direct message to producers and business owners.
The single most impactful decision a consumer can make is to keep your hard earned cash in your wallet. Focus on spending money on what you need, not just what you want. The idea of “retail therapy” is a tactical idea created by big business to convince consumers that buying new things will make them happier. Buy local products, and avoid big box retailers at all costs. In a society that is so obsessed with buying things on sale, the reason why these items are on sale is not addressed. Often times these cuts in prices are paid for by factory workers with excruciatingly poor conditions and non-livable wages, employed by companies with zero concern for environmentally sustainable practices. While it may feel like you are overpaying when shopping locally, the good feeling of supporting ethical and genuine business owners greatly makes up for the extra couple of dollars spent. By purchasing goods which are certified fair trade, you are fighting poverty. Purchasing organic food sends a message that you want more farmers to grow healthier and safer food.