What It Means To Be Socially Conscious
The term socially conscious gets thrown around a lot but do you really know what it means? You may see this term on a product and immediately determine it's worthy of your hard earned coin when in fact it could be another green washing tactic to pull the wool over your eyes.
You may want to refresh your familiarity with socially conscious as it has become a significant way to stay on your Eco-friendly, sustainable path for both the planet and your fellow humans.
Green Socialism: We Are All Connected
In America, the word socialism often gets a sideways glance with many still suspect of a communist infiltration. Yet, we all benefit from socialist perks everyday which include roads, bridges, public transportation and so much more. Being socially conscious really gets to the center of how we as a nation, as a global community, can work together to increase our quality of life without decimating our environment in the process.
American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929) wrote that the, "mind is an organic whole made up of co-operating individualities" which can be compared to the music of an orchestra that consists of different but related sounds. Just as music is an inseparable entity, the mind is seen as an organic whole where there is no need to differentiate between social mind and individual mind. This view is consistent with the general argument that nothing is isolated in nature.” (Questia Research Group)
When a society as a whole figures out that it is not just about the individual but the fact that we are all connected only then can it begin to solve and heal grand scale challenges including environmental preservation.
Socially Conscious Consumerism
Purchasing socially conscious products is one way you can go beyond your inner circle to support a global Eco-initiative.
According to The Network For Business Sustainability,
“Socially conscious consumerism can be defined as consumers - “voting with their dollars” – by purchasing products and services produced responsibly. Responsible production can encompass a range of social and environmental factors, such as ensuring labour practices are fair or that products are produced with the aim of minimizing environmental impacts. Consumers reward socially responsible firms through higher sales and punish other firms through boycotts and protests.”
Some socially conscious terms to look for include: Fair Trade, Sustainable, Ethical Trade, Non-GMO, Rainforest Alliance, Net Zero, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Being socially conscious is one side of the coin while on the other side is CSR, corporate social responsibility. As more people wake up to the power of their wallet, they are the ones who can have a significant global, environmental impact. As with most progressive change, it is the unfettered drive of society’s youth that often puts action into motion.
The 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study of nearly 10,000 citizens from 8 different nations found that,
- 9 out of 10 millennials would switch brands to those associated with a cause (91% vs. 85% US average)
- Two-thirds use social media to engage around CSR (66% vs. 53% US average)
- 62% are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 56% U.S. average)
- 72% believe their purchases make a moderate-to-significant positive impact on social or environmental issues
- Four-in-five are willing to consume or purchase fewer products to preserve natural resources (81%)
- 80% are willing to buy a product from an unknown brand if it has strong CSR commitments
- 61% would be willing to borrow or share products rather than buy new ones
- 57% would purchase a product of lesser quality or efficacy if it was more socially or environmentally responsible
More corporations are feeling the crunch of consumers that are finally putting their money where their mouth is. Even those companies that tout USA made products are bringing a variety of socially conscious manufacturing practices into play which is significant given America’s past lack of environmental oversight.
Find your socially conscious voice and put it into action through your purchases as well as activist plights. All it takes is a socialist effort to bring about change in a world where the corporate controlled pendulum may be swinging back to a more progressive path.