Please help us celebrate kind/compassionate shopping, and get a way to carry around action ideas, by purchasing our new, stylish “Shop With Compassion Tote”: here. It includes a graphic of the Kind Shopping Action Star Mandala above!
About The Star Graphics Above:
These stars were designed by Peace Couple in order to help our readers move towards more kind and compassionate shopping. They are designed in the shape of star mandalas, to help you reflect on your current shopping habits, and how you might gradually move to more and more compassionate choices.
The first one is The Compassionate Shopping “Essentials” Star Mandala. You can find it explained in full at our Shopping Tips 1 page: here. This star is designed to help you map out areas of your life you shop for, and to raise your awareness of the power you have as a consumer in those areas.
The second one is The Compassionate Shopping “Action” Star Mandala. You can find it explained in full at our Shopping Tips 2 page: here. This star is designed to be used after you have chosen a product to buy. How can you get that item in the most sustainable and compassionate way?
Essentials Star Mandala
This Essentials Star Mandala will help you visualize the various areas of your life that you shop for. It is our hope that you will use this chart to organize a gradual shift towards shopping more compassionately.
Consider taking a week or a month to focus on just one area of your shopping. Alternately, you could try to make at least one compassionate purchase in each category every week.
The Six Areas of Shopping Essentials/Shopping Needs:
1. Spirit (Book, music, etc.)
For Your Reading Needs: Powells Books
For Your Music Needs: CD Baby
For some choices such as tea and chocolate:Tara Luna
3. Household Needs
4. Community Related Needs
Such as school, office supplies, and hobby needs.
Greener Country (Includes office products)
Gaiam (Gaiam for fitness needs and more.)
Now that you have focused on which kinds of products to seek out, you can apply the next mandala to your search…
Action Star Mandala
This Action Star Mandala will help you become more aware of the various ways that your shopping habits impact the world around you. (You can purchase The Compassionate Shopping Action Mandala emblazoned on a Tote Bag: here. See image at the right.)
The Six Areas of Shopping Action:
1. Least Impact Zone
Don’t even shop! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Do-It-Yourself. Grow-It-Yourself. Handmade.
2. Shop Local. Where is this item or this food coming from? Can I purchase it from someone in my neighborhood, or from a local farmer?
3. Shop Fair Trade or Union. Was this item made with respect for workers rights and for human life? (Note that “Fair Trade” is another system of ethical shopping, which takes into account treatment of workers, sustainability, and other issues, as well.)
4. Partner with good businesses. Stay away from big corporations. Think about finding ways to purchase your product through Small Business, Cooperatives, Social Enterprises, or Nonprofits that you know and trust. You can nurture a whole economy of people who care.
5. Compassion for animals. Was this item made with respect for the life of animals? Examples of how to help: Buy cruelty free health and beauty products. Consider a more plant based diet or becoming vegetarian or vegan.
6. Organic. Is this item made with as few chemicals as possible, so that it is better for you, the people who must make it, and the environment?
We hope that this post helped remind you of the compassionate choices you already make while shopping. And, perhaps it will inspire you to find even more ways to use your consumer power for good. Please consider sharing these ideas or this post with a friend!
Please add any insights, comments, or corrections below. We would love to hear about your compassionate shopping strategies. (Reader comments are reviewed and clicked through every day or so.)