No matter where I go, there is always one topic accompanying me:
In university it hides behind topics like reflections, intercultural awareness or sustainability, at work our target audience are conscious shoppers. But what does it actually mean to be conscious?
We look outside. Still raining. “Is it ever going to stop?”, I mumble. My friend, who knows I am working on being more sustainable, turns around and teases me: “You are lucky, you will ride your car home, while I am the one getting watery wet on my bike! Very sustainable CéM.”. Instead of defending myself, I recap my equation:
Two loads of wet laundry = 6 hours of washing including water and electricity usage vs. 10 minutes riding the car
I made a conscious choice. A conscious choice, that doesn’t necessarily sound sustainable, but in the longer run might be the even better option for our environment.
To me being conscious means taking possible consequences or outcomes into perspective and come to a decision reflecting all important elements. This decision doesn’t necessarily need to be sustainable, but it needs to be an actively thought through choice.
I want to believe that in many cases the conscious choice also is the sustainable choice. For instance, smokers that throw their cigarettes on the floor would be conscious if they reflect the process and come to the conclusion: The impact of that cigarette is way worse for our environment than investing 5 seconds into finding a trashcan. Maybe they actually choose consciously to through them out, to “look cool” or something, but I believe most don’t overthink their process.
Our society is used to consuming. We are overwhelmed by such a large offer, that we focus more and more on the consumption itself than on anything beforehand. In fact, do you spend more time choosing a phone or using it?
Important to remember is that being conscious alone is not enough to make a difference, as it doesn’t include a call to action. It mainly processes a certain awareness and evaluates elements of a decision. This means you can be conscious all you want, if you fail in making the right choice, there is no point in being conscious after all. Make the right one!
What does being conscious mean to you?