It’s a given that if you put a large plate of food in front of me I’m likely to eat everything on it, continuing even after I’m full. Is this a childhood lesson in action (“finish your vegetables!”) or just gluttony? Either way, I have come to realize that I have an immediate reaction when confronted with large amounts of anything. If I see a lot of something, I tend to operate on the concept that I must need a lot it.
This thinking is on high alert when I shop at one of the warehouse chains. I become overwhelmed by the shear bulk of items available on the shelves. The result is that I respond to the urge to “get my share” and stock up my cart to bring it on home. Once I face my cupboard though I realize the truth that I already have a full case of cling peaches from the last shopping trip.
It’s not that I want to feel guilty for being a consumer, but I do want to be more aware and have respect for what I consume. I want to shift from a “hoard mentality” to the “there’s plenty enough” idea. Could this be a New Year’s resolution in the making? Maybe 2007 can be my “year to become a conscious consumer”.
With that as a theme, shopping local takes on a new meaning for me. When I buy from a local business I focus more attention on the impact of my purchasing power. I appreciate the bigger picture when shopping small and I feel the positive result that my buying has on individuals who have invested in the community where I live.
For example, the rich and flavorful coffee along with the light and fluffy egg sandwich at Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure is extra wonderful because I have met the owner Julie McGuire. I know Julie’s passion and business creativity went into getting that breakfast set down in front of me.
I’m already on the floor in lotus and humming my mantra….be a conscious consumer…be a conscious consumer. There’s the Zen of it. I’ll focus less on buying a lot because it is cheap and available and recognize value that extends beyond cash. Could it trim my consumer waistline but fulfill my consumer spirit more? I’m banking that it will.