Conscious Consumption and New Economy

The new economy will be an economy at the service of people, or won’t’ be. It will not only cover needs, but also will take into account the rights of people and fulfill some “duties.”

For most people the economy is something abstract, distant, inaccessible and unknown. The visible face of the economy has been deliberately complexed and schools are not taught economics, so to be proficient in this area you have to be self-taught. In short, economics seems to be a matter of experts, for a few people, when in fact, it is directly related to the welfare of the whole world, not only economic but also personal and social welfare. For this reason, it is important that people be the center of this new way of understanding and living the economy: a conceptually inclusive economy understood and lived by and for people.

In the new economy, consumption is a fundamental link between demand and supply. The new economy will not only need companies to operate with sound ethical principles, but also that the consumer-people encourage initiatives that comply with ethical criteria.

In this meditative decision-making process, entities operating with an inclusive view of well-being are the benchmark for leading the transition. These are entities that have incorporated into their activity ethics, justice and respect for health and the environment. They are a guide in the process of empowering people, through the transmission of knowledge about the different ways of consuming and its consequences, favoring a conscious consumption.

Conscious consumption is a consumption with sense, with value (es), based on reasonable and reasoned choices: reasonable to consume only what is necessary, and reasoned by analyzing the available options, valuing them and making consequent decisions. In other words, it questions the consumerist inertia to which we are so accustomed.

Conscious consumption accentuates the need for information and is based on the freedom of people to decide and act. It is an inclusive concept, which invites reflection. There will be people who, when they join this initiative, will include new criteria for making decisions and others who, after reflection, will keep their previous decisions. All processes are equally valid and respectable.

In this way, the dialectical hypocrisy created in some areas could be left aside when speaking of “sustainability”. As an example, there is a book titled: Green Petroleum: How Oil and Gas Can Be Environmentally Sustainable. We can find oil farms that adopt certain environmental measures to generate less impacts, but can we talk about “green oil”? If the real social interest is to make everything “sustainable” to legitimate that the status quo is not questioned, we are building a fragile house of cards that will fall with the first breeze.

There are many environmental and social certification stamps (and associated processes), as well as balances (or other tools) promoted from different economic movements that establish procedures and determine which entities respect certain values. These initiatives serve many purposes, such as establishing principles, verifying compliance, and bringing information to consumer users.

One of the great advantages of these tools is the simplification of the complex information, and, therefore, its approach to a social majority. But a great inconvenience is that they only address organizations that want to participate in the standard. What happens to those who do not have that seal or have not made a certain balance?


Extracted from the original article by Consuma Conciencia, translated by NESI Team