Be ethical, live better Reflections

7 examples of responsible and sustainable consumption that do make a difference

Have you ever thought that every time you consume, your action has consequences? Yes, that’s right, every action has a reaction. That’s why, when we shop, we should try to do it responsibly, as everything has an impact in one way or another on us and the environment.

Have you ever thought that every time you consume, your action has consequences? Yes, that’s right, every action has a reaction. That is why, when we shop, we should try to do it responsibly, as everything has an impact in one way or another on us and the environment.

The exceptional situation resulting from COVID-19 has been a good opportunity to reflect on our habits and to see which ones we want to keep and which ones we want to change.


What is the definition of responsible consumption?

When we add responsibility to our consumption, we are adding value to the choice we make every day as consumers among the different goods and services offered to us by the market. It is a conscious choice of products that truly meet our needs and, at the same time, respect the environment.

That is why, before buying, we should ask ourselves questions such as “do I really need it?”, “am I choosing freely or am I acting compulsively?”, “how long will I use it?”, “can I borrow it from someone I know?”, “is it made from recyclable materials?”, “who made the product and how did they make it?”, “who made it and how?”.

If we make the effort to find the answers, we are likely to buy in a much more efficient way.


7 examples to understand why responsible and sustainable consumption is necessary

  • We help local commerce

Consuming in a responsible way also means supporting local, zero-kilometre products.

Shops contribute to the local economy, which is a very important source in the current context for the recovery of our city. So, one example would be to buy more from local shops rather than from large corporations.

Currently, Barcelona City Council has launched the ‘Bonus Consum’ initiative, vouchers to encourage local and in-person trade in products, services and catering during 2021. These vouchers have a value of 20 euros (€10 paid by the user and the other €10 subsidised by the City Council), which can be exchanged for products and services, as a great alternative to contribute to the local economy.

  • We take care of the environment

Before we buy, let’s think about the environmental footprint that goes with it. From the sourcing of the raw materials it is made from, through production and use, to the management of the final waste.

It is very important to prioritise products with a lower environmental impact and reduce the consumption of the most limited natural resources such as water, oil, gas and others.

  • We will protect animals

It is no secret that in order to supply the massive demand, the treatment of animals by many corporations has usually been unethical and has been questioned for decades.

Therefore, by buying eco-friendly, vegan and sustainable clothing, we are also helping to conserve the lives and good treatment of hundreds of species.

  • We save money in our homes

If we consume responsibly at home, we will buy less and better, and this will lead to financial savings.

Sustainable consumption also pushes us towards greater energy efficiency and today there are many household appliances and systems along these lines, which make our homes more efficient, reduce the impact on the environment and also generate economic savings.

  • We are committed to the three R’s

Responsible consumption also leads us to recycle, reduce and reuse. A cycle that will also be fundamental for the education of children.

In this way, we look for alternatives that minimise the exploitation of natural resources, such as, for example, giving a second life to some products through second-hand markets, exchanges or the repair of objects and machinery.

  • We have a responsible attitude towards others

Responsible consumption values the labour rights of the people who work on the final product that we end up buying.

If we opt for this type of consumption, we will be defending first and foremost the obligation to guarantee the same rights for all people.

  • We value more that which is not material

Every day we are exposed to numerous stimuli that invite us to consume and to possess more and more, compulsively and unnecessarily.

Responsible consumption also implies leaving behind the society of materialism in order to value everything that does not cost money but enriches us enormously and, at the same time, becoming aware that we live better with less.


Food as part of sustainable consumption

The issue of food is crucial to our understanding of our responsibility as consumers.

Various studies show that the misuse of food is one of the main factors causing the climate emergency we are experiencing. In order to respond to the extremely high global demand for food, we resort to abusive methods and the exploitation of natural resources that lead to deforestation, etc.

So how can we promote responsible food?

  • Throwing food away is no longer an option. We must plan our shopping well and opt for healthy, local food.
  • It is also a good time to be creative, innovate and create new recipes so as not to waste anything.
  • Choose to take part in sustainable foodinitiatives in Barcelona to make the most of food that has not been used in restaurants or shops, or that is close to its expiry date.

At the same time, responsible consumption is a practice that is also spreading and becoming established throughout the gastronomic and catering sector.

The new law obliges establishments to reduce their food waste and, for their part, many consumers decide where to go according to the sustainable commitment of the premises.

Sustainability is our commitment

At Withfor, the ethical real estate agency in Barcelona, we are convinced that each one of us can turn our purchasing power into an important instrument of change towards a more sustainable world. In most cases, responsible consumption only involves consciously changing our habits.

By making small gestures such as opting for local consumption of products and services, we can generate major positive dynamics for our future in the city and for the future of the planet.