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We in our daily life keep using the term "conscious" to describe our (or other's) attitude towards things that we(or other) is more inclined towards at the moment by indicating health conscious, value conscious, social conscious, environment conscious, or in extreme cases political conscious. But, in what way are they different? or are they really different at all? And, where does conscious consumer comes in?
The word conscious comes from Latin 'conscius' meaning 'knowing with others or in oneself' in the sense 'being aware of wrongdoing'. What's the definition of wrongdoing then? We would not go into the philosophical definition of it, but to make things simple let us say 'hurting' someone is 'wrongdoing' in this case. The more severe the hurt, the more wrong it is. Therefore, health conscious would imply not hurting others or one's health, environment conscious would imply not hurting others or one's environment and similarly, it goes for social, value or political conscious.
'hurting' someone is 'wrongdoing'
Coming back to our very first question: are they different? No, they are not, in fact they are different stages in one's attitude toward others or oneself in being a conscious consumer. Try to understand it in this way: If you are buying something only by looking at the nutrition value chart of a product then you may consider yourself at the first stage of being a conscious consumer. The daily labour is not concerned with any value but is only looking to satiate his/her hunger or need which could be considered as very low attitude in being a conscious consumer. Therefore, as you expand yourself or include others into your thoughts, actions and deeds then you are moving higher into this ladder of being a conscious consumer.
they are different stages in one's attitude toward others or oneself in being a conscious consumer.
At the highest stage is then conscious consumer, who does not only look for others or one's health, environment or society in exclusion, but includes each one of it before buying or consuming anything. So, more the people in their higher stages of conscious consuming, more the people would be benefitted on the planet with their thoughts, actions and deeds. So, the day everyone in this planet becomes a conscious consumer would be the day this planet would be the promised land or nirvana.
Added to this stage of being a conscious consumer is the most important question to keep in mind is: "Do I really need this thing?" or "I just want to have it?". The consequences are asunder.