Making Good Choices
Crawling the internet, I find a lot of “alternative” lifestyles that are meant to be eco-concious or healthier than the typical American lifestyle. A lot of these really strike a chord with me because I do want to live a life that is less materialistic, and even more importantly, I don’t want the items I own and food I buy to have come from companies and people involved with slavery, torturing animals,using harmful chemicals, or intentionally harming the environment and/or people/animals in order to make their product.
Being an informed consumer is difficult though, and not made easier by the fact that I can be lazy. Big stores are easier to buy from because you can get everything in one place. They also sell in bulk or can be cheaper because of shortcuts that involve the means I listed above. Also, it’s hard to tell what stores/brands/items are safe. Just because you’ve eliminated one evil from your life doesn’t mean you haven’t increased the affect of others.
I mean, there’s always some news story about how evil Wal-mart and McDonald’s are, but are Target and Wendy’s any better? I read a great article about what’s in your tea, and it really opened my eyes. This was a comprehensive study about what’s in different brands of tea itself, as well as the tea bags. It’s pretty disturbing.
While I try to avoid certain stores and brands, it can sometimes be difficult to know if what you’re choosing instead is any better. Living conscientiously can be tough work, but there are a lot of ways to do so. Of course, it’s always great to do as much as you can yourself. The less pre-made food you consume, the better. I still buy pre-made meals for my lunches at work, but most of my dinners are made from scratch. But then the question becomes, where did the whole foods I’m buying come from? Is it any better than those boxes in the freezer aisle?
The same thing goes with clothes. Making your own clothes is frugal and even fun, but the materials you use can be from the same corporation that mass-produces jeans in third-world countries.
Anyway, that’s just some of my rambling about the subject. What do you think? How do you limit your consumption and make sure you’re buying from companies you want to support?