BeyondConsumerism

Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.

Conscious Consumer Shopping Guide

If you need to make a purchase, see if you can find the most durable, just, and sustainable option that works for your budget. Being a conscious consumer isn't just better for the planet, it's better for your own health and that of your family. As sustainable options become more widely available, you won't have to break the bank to make a purchase you feel good about.

For tips on buying responsibly, check out the following product guides, which cover everyday items from baby goods to seafood:


Product Guides

Baby products
Learn how to create a healthy home environment for your new bundle of joy.

Back-to-school
Learn how you can make a big difference on a tight budget when heading off to college.

Bags
Learn why it's important to bring reusable bags on your next shopping trip.

Batteries

Learn how you can save money on batteries and keep toxic chemicals out of the landfill.

Bottled water
Learn the top five reasons to give up bottled water and use our quick calculator to see how much money you're wasting on water each year.

Cell phones
Learn how to chat more sustainably.

Chocolate
Find out why fair trade certified chocolate is the best choice.

Cleaning products
Learn how using the safest household cleaners doesn't have to be hard on your wallet.

Coffee
Learn how to feel better about your morning cup of jo.

Computers
Learn how to find the greenest options and how to dispose of your old equipment in a responsible manner.

Energy
Learn how you can make energy-saving changes in areas such as insulation, lighting and appliances, water usage, and heating and cooling systems.

Fair trade
Learn more about Fair Trade and discover what food items and products follow this standard.

Flowers
Learn how to find blooms that not only look beautiful, but also avoid the chemicals.

Fruits and vegetables
Learn how to pick produce that's tastier and free of chemicals.

Jewelry
Learn why fair trade or recycled jewelry is the better option.

Lawn care
Learn how striving for green isn't always "green."

Lighting
Learn why CFLs and LEDs are smart energy-saving choices.

Personal care products
Find products that keep toxins out of your body and out of our water and waste streams.

Seafood
Learn how to identify which seafood is the most sustainable.

    Read the Label!

    It's important to be wary of "green" or "healthy" consumer items that are being pushed by marketers but that are potentially less safe for you. Bottled water, for example, often claims to be healthier and safer, and to originate from pure mountain springs—but in many cases, it's really just filtered municipal water.

    Here are some leading green certification programs and eco-labels to look for when you're buying new products:

    While not perfect, these certification schemes can help us make better choices at times when sharing, buying used, or not buying at all isn’t an option.