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Consumer = somebody who consumes.  Mmm…do I like being called a “consumer” – not so much.  A buyer?  A purchaser?  Nope.  And while yes, I’m a customer, client etc. there is this unique piece where there is an exchange of money for a product or service that in essence is defined today as consumerism.  Hence consumer.

But in many ways, we simply “consume” too much – and many of us (myself included!) simply have too much stuff.  I don’t want to be a “consumer.”  I want to be a giver, a creator, not a taker and user.

Recently at the Green Business Conference there were some other terms that were suggested:

  • Co-Producer
  • Citizen Partner
  • Citizen Eaters
  • Maker
  • Buycotters
  • Co-Creators
  • Voters

And while a good effort, none of these quite fit either.

If I had my druthers, I would call us Choosers.  (“Choosy Moms Choose Jif”)  I think this descriptor would simply remind us that every time we go to spend our money, it is truly a choice.  A choice to support the product and/or establishment where we are spending our money.  A choice to support the company, its practices and impacts that are behind the desired product or service.

In the meantime, I will use the term “consumers” with the word concientious in front of it, while the illiteration is nice, it’s really all about the awareness of our purchasing power to support that which we truly believe in.

While some would say that  the hardest part about being a concientious consumer is that often “concientious” products are more expensive, I think that’s somewhat of an easy cop-out for most Americans.  Because if I bought less, I could afford fewer, better products/services.  (I think of ALL the clothes I don’t wear in my closet.)  I would say the hardest part is changing habits and taking the time to find out what’s behind my peanut butter, my washing machine, my purse, my favorite restaurant, my dog food, my computer.

Is it warm fuzzies, rainbows and stars?  Or is it sludge, drudge and sadness? 

If given timely information, (say a Choose People Seal of Approval on a product/service :)) what Choosers wouldn’t choose warm fuzzies?

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