I once heard something that continues to stick with me – when you say ‘yes’ to something or someone, you are also saying ‘no’ to something or someone.  For example, if you say yes to working late at the office, you are also saying no to your family at home at the same time.  Ah…the constant give and take of life.  This saying and concept, no matter which order you put it in, transcends many different contexts including the products we choose to support each and every day.

To consume or not to consume

Now, before you burn me at the stake for even talking about consumerism, please hear me out.  We here at Earth911 always advocate for making the most of our resources.  ‘Less is more’ is generally the rule and consuming generally equates to resulting waste.  However, I would venture to bet that there are certain products that each of us use in our daily routine.  As we each grow in our awareness, some of us realize that we may not really need as much as we once thought (or we realize a better alternative exists).

So, what’s the alternative?

As consumers we make purchasing decisions every day.  We purchase all kinds of products – food, cleaning, personal care, health care.  The list goes on and on.  In today’s ultra-competitive consumer product environment, there is generally always an alternative product, if not multiple products.  In cases, green purchasing is an option or alternative.

Green purchasing - Vote with your money
Image courtesy Earth Hour

A vs. B (vs. C vs. D vs. E vs. F vs. G)

  • Lets take personal care products as an example.
  • Adding on to that example, let us now pretend that Product A is a conventional product whereas Product B is certified organic, has a third party green certification, is manufactured by a company who utilizes renewable energy and who has achieved zero waste status.

Which product would you buy?

I can already hear the chorus of ‘Depends on who much they both cost’.  Cost is certainly a purchasing factor; I won’t deny that.  However, by purchasing Product B you are consciously supporting an idea that you value.  As more and more people support products with green attributes, conventional manufacturers will take notice.  Nothing gets a company’s attention more than you spending your hard earned money elsewhere.

So, what products to you support?  What product attributes, certifications do you value?  Do you find it difficult to find outlets that carry these type products?

Feature image: Earth Hour on Flickr

By Chase Ezell

Chase has served in various public relations, communications and sustainability roles. He is a former managing editor for Earth911.com.