Why engage in an economy that churns out mind-numbing junk - mass produced food, textiles, plastic, etc., when you can indulge in the sensual experience of beautiful things and delicious food ?
Mindless consumerism is one of the reasons human existence is out of balance. But it is possible to shop away for the greater good. It involves investing your money in things which support a holistic life - buying organic food, buying environmentally friendly products, and buying from creative businesses and individuals, rather than those big businesses focused on mass production where people are reduced to labour units engaged in meaningless and repetitive work.
You may not have enough income to spend all of your money on these valuable items. It doesn't matter, every journey begins with a single step. And - in the big picture, less is more.
This article is about the power of the organic consumer to bring about fundamental change.
The rampant consumerism which is part of our society and encouraged by industry, governments, media and others is so immensely detrimental to the environment that it is one of the main environmental concerns.
However each and every day most people rely on purchases to meet their requirements. Over centuries people have developed a system of specialising in different tasks and using a system of exchange (with admittedly many imperfections) to obtain the goods or services that they require.
People can, however, both minimise their consumption and use the collective power they have as consumers to force more responsible use of the resources of the planet.
If people do not buy products which are detrimental to the environment or their own personal health, for example, then the incentive for those products to be produced is weakened - and if demand is reduced enough the incentive can be removed altogether.
By using their collective consumer power people can give strength to a cycle of positive production and consumption which will minimise damage to the environment. Production is reliant on there being a market which in turn grows and improves as production improves. Markets can only grow with the support of the consumer. In turn the consumer receives more choice, improved prices and better access.
In addition, and most importantly, as the cycle of responsible production and consumption grows irresponsible production is weakened. There is a huge system of production which is not responsible and carries with it the infrastructure of the systems of the world. Therefore it has the support of governments, big business and many who are unaware of its detrimental and short sighted effects on the world and its inhabitants. Collectively though the responsible consumer can turn it around.
In the case of organic products their availability is reliant on the cycle of organic production becoming strong with all players in the cycle depending on and supporting the others. As people change to using organically produced goods organic producers, retailers and support services are strengthened and able to increase their production leading in turn to more choice for consumers and therefore more consumers.
Consumers then become a more powerful force able to support the organic community and able to promote organic production methods. They become better able to influence governments and others to support organic production and research and to fight for controls on production methods which are detrimental to the environment and to their personal health.
In the meantime individuals gain directly by obtaining food and other products which are safe and by knowing that they are playing their part in the organic cycle.