a. What are the characteristics of a “responsible consumer”? Explain.
A responsible consumer should be well educated about the products that they are buying and understand what goes into the manufacturing process for them. They should understand the various materials that are being used, where they are sourced, and roughly the amount of energy, time, or labor that goes into producing the products that they know and love. It’s also important to consider the environmental impact of certain products and how our actions as consumers can create more sustainable product design.
b. What do you buy on a regular basis: daily, twice a week, once a week, once a month, less?
I buy perishable items such as groceries about once a week. On a daily basis, I will buy meals, water, or other necessities. About once a month, I might buy some new clothes and restock my hygiene products like soaps, skincare, or shampoos.
c. How are your purchases divided between online shopping (local, abroad, shipped by air or by sea) and in-store shopping? For in-store shopping, how do you get to the store? By foot, car, public transport?
Most of my purchases are done in person because I own a car and have the ability to drive to places such as a grocery store. However, since I live on a college campus, I am able to walk to many of my shopping destinations as they are close by. I am also able to order my groceries online through a website and have the grocery store company deliver my groceries for free once I spend a certain threshold of money. I always make sure to buy clothing items or other wearable items in a store (in person).
d. What is important to you when choosing a product?
I look for products that have a long life and can be reused whenever I need them. I also look for products with sustainable packaging and recyclable components. Cost is also a big factor for me when making purchasing decisions as I am a college student with a small disposable income.
e. Can you take into consideration the end of use already at the time of purchase? If so, in what form?
To consider a products end of use, a consumer can think about the materials a product is made out of and whether they can be recycled or reused. The customer can also estimate the product’s lifespan by looking at other products in the same space and ensuring that they use their product as originally intended.
f. How can you become a more responsible consumer?
Consumers can use refillable containers like glass jars for spices, pasta, or other consumable goods. They can also use reusable cloth bags for groceries instead of plastic or paper bags which are disposed of. Furthermore, consumers can save water by purchasing special water-conserving attachments for their showerheads or faucets. They can also employ methods like composting or recycling waste materials and repurposing expired products.