There is no better time than to touch on social responsibility while Christmas time is here and consumerism has gotten an obvious obligatory boost.
As many of you may run about purchasing gifts for others that they may *or perhaps may not* want for the sake of fulfilling your seasonal duty, I invite you to take a moment to reflect upon if you are still actually interested in participating in this madness – I have chosen to take more of a “back seat” in the last few years and I find each season to be stress free and much more enjoyable. There are definitely some exceptions but I place much more emphasis on the true spirit of the season is less about gifts and more about spending quality time with others and expressing gratitude for all of the gifts life has given me over the year.
Practicing a minimalistic lifestyle has definitely helped me be more socially responsible.
I definitely pay tribute to minimalistic living and how it has helped me obtain a mindset where “things do not consume me”.
I prefer quality over quantity and experiences over things- for the most part.
I am not here to preach.
There are die-hard minimalists out there that live MINIMALlY. Like- out of a Van. They are much better at minimal living than me. I am not saying that I have reached that point whatsoever nor will I ever. (Props to Van Life BTW)
Could I be more minimal- HECK YES.
I am not here saying that I don’t like nice things and I am not saying that I do not like shopping- because I do. I recognize that I still can definitely step up my game in many ways so don’t think for a second that I am sitting here writing this trying to tell you that I am perfect.
The point I am trying to make, however, is that I am consciously aware of the impact and implications that lay within “a constant state of wanting” that is being fed to us. Such feedings come from advertisements around us that affect us mentally, socially and environmentally- we are constantly bombarded subliminal messaging that persuade us to need more to be more, although recognizably this could not be further from the truth when you look around and see that there are many people who have plenty of stuff and are just SO darn miserable.
I don’t watch much TV and I tend to “do my own thing” so I am not hit with too much advertising… that being said I do still enjoy shopping but I am much more mindful when I do. I take time to pause and think- do I really need or want this item?
And of such items, I choose to at least TRY to make better-informed choices and habits that are better for the environment, for others, and for this world.
I come here today not to post on how “socially responsible I am” but rather to shed light on how real it is and how NORMAL it is to be a consumer, and just small everyday changes and awareness can make ripple effect impacts.
I continue to strive to better myself and be better to this world and I hope this for everyone else too – progress can happen in increments and not necessarily overnight. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person to take time to figure it out in stages. Trying is better than not trying at all, and I encourage you for 2018 to perhaps try some of my tips below to become a bit more socially responsible yourself…..
There are many ways that we can become more socially responsible.
- Research brands that you choose to see their social responsibility- especially in fast fashion.
- Opt for luxury brands that will last longer than items that will not last you multiple seasons or at least know how to purchase items that will last over several seasons. LVMH (Louis Vuitton) has a great socially responsible policy (hey, just sayin’ – maybe that new handbag is justified?!)
- Shop local
- Choose to give experiences over items as gifts
- Donate and upcycle when possible
- Be happy with what you have already and start to recognize that you are more than just the stuff you own
- Do your research and be aware!!! Just be aware! Understand not only the environmental implications but workers conditions for the products that you are buying.
There is a new TV show on Bravo/Slice called “Stripped” that I would encourage you to watch. I rarely watch TV but this show is pretty awesome. The people in the show are stripped of all possessions- including their clothes. They are given 1 item back each day (and are provided basic meals/water for survival) for a period of 21 days. It is interesting to see how little one needs to actually get by, as well as the items that hold the most value and for what reasons.
I think that I might update this post a bit more another time, but comment below with your thoughts and opinions!!