PRACTICING MINDFUL CONSUMER HABITS

Phew! I think now is as good a time as any to introduce this to my blog. Over the past few months, the amount of shopping I've done has dropped down to only the essentials. Other than groceries and household supplies, I have only purchased books and a massager (impulse purchase to help with my back pain). I haven't even so much as browsed for cute loungewear because to be honest, I'm just as happy in a t-shirt and shorts, and quite frankly, it feels tone-deaf to me to shill unnecessary products in the middle of a pandemic (no judgment or hate to those who are doing business as usual; I totally understand that a lot of bloggers make their livings off links).

Now more than ever, I think it's important for us to try to be more mindful about what we buy. Us consumers have the power to vote with our wallets, so make your purchases count. Buy with a purpose rather than to simply have things. I promise you, you really don't need every little "must have" item that you see on TikTok.

Personally, I have made a drastic change in my purchasing habits and have been avoiding anything that's "Made in China." I'm late to the party - my dad has been doing this for years. He tries to buy local and "Made in USA" as much as possible. Then, he'll try to find alternatives that are made in other countries other than China. His reasons for doing so overlap with mine in many ways.

I have been more vocal about the democracy movement in Hong Kong than any other movement because it's a personal one that I resonate with very much. When China started to blatantly interfere with Hong Kong's autonomy last year, I was still weary about boycotting Chinese products, but as things further descended into chaos, I realized how I needed to take some action. And yes, I'm aware that my discontinuation of buying Chinese goods isn't going to make a dent, but it's what feels right to me. I wanted to do every little bit that I could to make sure that no more of my money went to that country. It's my small way of standing with Hong Kong by not contributing to the enemy.

I've given this a lot of thought and I do believe that this needs to be a permanent change for me. Of course, I'm not going to be perfect - I'll make mistakes. And is it completely realistic to go off Chinese products 100%? I highly doubt it. I'm still going to need my electronics, and last I checked, those are from China. But if I can help it, if it's something that isn't essential and I have options, I will do my best to buy from elsewhere.

I've also learned a great amount about just how much stuff is from China. It absolutely blew my mind. Did you know that most garlic powder seasoning is produced in China? And I guess I should've seen this coming, but I'm saving a lot of money by boycotting "Made in China" products. Like, so so much money. I'm no longer buying things left and right. I'm making a point to check tags and be conscious about what I'm buying. If it's something that I'm itching to own but it's made in China, it's a borderline ethical dilemma for me, but I'm proud to say that so far, I've been good about sticking to my guns.

Similarly, I've seen dozens of people share that they're making efforts to support Black-owned and women-owned businesses and boycotting companies that donate to certain political figures or organizations. That makes me incredibly happy to hear. We all have a movement or two that we are especially passionate about, and this is just another way to make our voices heard. That's the beauty of being a consumer - we hold in our wallets the choice to buy for pure pleasure or to buy to make a change.

I'm not writing this post to shame you; I simply want to encourage you all to reevaluate your purchases. If you decide that you wouldn't like to make any changes, that's your call. But if this so much as makes you think deeper about what you buy, where it's made, sustainability, ethical production, company values, whatever is important to you, then I've achieved my goal.