| Lewis Akenji
Editorial for the first issue of Conscious Consumer Magazine
Living an ecologically friendly life does not have to be hard or self-sacrificing. Nor should it be tainted with guilt, labels and self-defence.
In light of the recent hype, many have come to see
‘green’ as an alternative movement, suited for cults of activists. There’re
those who hold up placards on the street chanting ‘Stop Esso!’; others who chain
themselves naked to trees crying for the rainforest. Granted, their degrees of
expressing an ideology are different, a little radical maybe. This is not a
template behaviour one needs in order to subscribe to ecological thinking.
At the bottom of it, the effects of environmental degradation are not
limited to particular groups but fall on us all.
As consumers we are all stakeholders in the future of
our planet, our choice of what we buy and who we buy from is our vote to the
kind of environment we want. Think of the (non-)renewable resources used in
production, the (non-)recyclable waste left after consumption, the company that
forces its employees to work long hours at low wages. Being a conscious
consumer, living sustainably, therefore, is not exclusive to some but rather a
collective responsibility and a mainstream necessity for the happiness, health
and future of us all and our planet. There’s no finger-pointing here, we’re all
in the same boat. Our individual ways of contribution might differ, some less
obvious, others yelling on top of the roof, every step that is mindful of the
future and the environment is an important contribution.
Luckily, as polls and action repeatedly show, the
majority want to live less superficial and more meaningful lifestyles. And, hey,
it cannot be that hard, you don’t have to be a fanatic. When was the last time
you refused to shop for a gift and rather used your hands to make something
personalized for a loved one? Switched off the TV and told stories instead?
Taught someone something new – to dance, to swim, a foreign language? Went by
bicycle instead of driving to work? Read a book and smiled? Felt the soil in
your hands or picked a vegetable from the garden? Chances are, in your own bit,
you’ve done more for a sustainable environment than you give yourself credit
for, or than many others acknowledge. And, since you’re now holding this
magazine in your hands, you want to do even more.
It’s not only fun, it’s healthy, saves our
This article first appeared in the magazine
Tudatos Vasarlo issue 1.