What is a responsible consumer?
Responsible consumption involves making thoughtful choices about everything we buy and consume by considering the environmental, political, social, and economic consequences of our decisions. Usually a responsible consumer could be defined as someone who is conscious of their consumption habits and who chooses to have, even demands, a more positive impact on society and the environment from the producers of goods and services. In this way, the profile of the responsible consumer can be determined by some factors:
reducing consumption, being more active, consuming local products and contracting local services, as well as secondhand products,
reusing, repairing and recycling.
One of the factors that notably influences this kind of responsible consumption is proximity, also called local consumption, because the local consumption has environmental, social and economic benefits.
The environmental benefits of local consumption.
The main environmental benefits of local consumption are energy saving and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, given that the means of transporting the products from far-off places generate more emissions. Likewise, it cuts back on packaging because a product that does not travel so far does not needs so much protection. Also, as concerns food, the consumption of seasonal products favors the local economy and reduces imports of products and their corresponding transportation.
Socioeconomic benefits of local consumption
Product traceability is much simpler when bought locally than when that product comes from another part of the world. As such, it is much more likely that workers’ rights and workplace standards have been respected in its creation, cultivation, production, treatment, transformation, storage, sending, etc.
Consuming local products helps the economy in the area: a Canadian dollar spent on local products generates double for the local economy. Also, if local producers gain from their work, they will continue to generate wealth and jobs in the community.
The market also benefits, since it creates a gap for smaller competitors, which results in a better offer and eventual lowering of prices and greater accessibility for users and consumers.
Although the responsibility of achieving a more sustainable world does not fall only on the shoulders of consumers, their role and possibilities for influencing fair and responsible productive models makes a big difference in bringing about global sustainable development.