The Conscious Consumer: How Charitable Is Your Spending?

02 May

image0151The Conscious Consumer: How Charitable is Your Spending?

Much of society was raised to believe that it is far better to give than to receive. While that may have switched to a different focus beginning with the 1980s, by the 1990s things began to shift once more toward responsible living. Included in this trajectory has been a focus upon supporting more charitable organizations that work to enhance society.

Conscious Consuming

There are many ways to contribute and give back without making sizable cash donations. For instance, becoming a conscious consumer means paying attention to how, why and where financial resources are spent. When purchases need to be made, one great tactic is to look into finding the most just, durable and sustainable options that work within the budget. Many organizations offer tips on how to buy responsibly, as well as provide information about how companies get and use their resources.

Socially Responsible Businesses

Companies such as Monkey insurance company in the UK regularly support organizations like the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust in Zambia for advancing education. Therefore, choosing from their insurance comparison services is a great way to get the lowest prices from over 120 insurance firms, while helping a favorite charity.

Many companies in the U.S. routinely contribute to charitable organizations. For instance, Kroger gives back to local communities through its Community Rewards Program, which allows schools and non-profit organizations to earn millions of dollars each year.

By shopping at companies like Kroger for groceries, any consumer can automatically contribute back to their communities, without spending any more than their budget allows. In reality, it costs nothing to engage in this type of conscious living and the rewards are infinite for individuals, families, societies as a whole and the entire world.

Another way to contribute is to designate credit card rewards points toward charitable efforts. In fact, most credit card companies double or triple cash donations to the charity of the donor’s choice. Many people do this on a regular basis to organizations such as the Red Cross, as well as for special relief efforts after major ‘Act of God’ events.

A Helping Hand to Enhance Health

In addition to the benefits associated with the sheer joy of giving, there is now scientific evidence that demonstrates how people connected to their communities have less illness. The theory behind this is that giving promotes more oxygenated blood. As a result, the immune system gets an instant booster, making people less susceptible to illness in general.

Also, people who have suffered from chronic pain have reported decreased intensity of depression episodes and other disabling conditions after reaching out to others in pain. Studies have reported a reduction in pain of around 13 percent in these cases. Similar to exercise and other physical activity, scientists have surmised that this is owed primarily to the release of endorphins, which seems to explain the phenomenon.

The more sustainable spending options become readily available, the easier it becomes to make purchases that make one feel good. The truth is, there are many ways to give back to communities, more than most people realize. If everyone gives just a little, then more people will not have to give quite so much. Thus, giving is good for community development, the environment and each generous person’s overall health.

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Being an advocate of conscious consumerism enables Nadine Swayne to write this article. Companies that give back, like Monkey Insurance in the UK, have an ever growing presence in society. Today, businesses are revered by consumers for their charitable givings and awareness of the plight of the downtrodden in our world.


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