You know that you’ve reached some kind of crunchy-person dilemma when you are standing in a giant store with an aisle full of options and do not find any acceptable choices for the item you came to purchase. I’m not just talking about food, although I certainly struggle with orthorexia in that area — but any item!
Small or large. Bed sheets. Slippers. Hand lotion. Paper towels. Wrapping paper. Everything.
When I say that I practice conscientious consumerism, what do I mean?
Questions that go through my head: where was it made? Were the workers treated fairly? What are the chemicals in it? What active chemicals will it leach when not in use? Were there pesticides used in it? Are there genetically modified (GMO) ingredients? Is there gluten or dairy in this? Can I make this instead of buying it? If so, is that crazy/do I even have enough time? Should I be purchasing something with this much unnecessary packaging? Is this made of plastic? If so, can I get a glass or stainless steel version?
Yep, all those things really do go through my head. And it’s true that I have walked out of even Target empty-handed because I couldn’t answer some of those questions satisfactorily about the item I came for.
Phthalates (also called “Fragrance” in ingredients list)
Trans fats (partially- or fully hydrogenated oils)
Soy or canola oil with unlisted source (likely GMO)
non-organic corn (GMO)
high fructose corn syrup
leather (when possible)
PVC (leaches phthalates/endocrine disruptors)
Single use items
Fair trade (better)
Purchase benefits a marginalized group (best)