There are ethical shopping workshops, people who promote the idea of buying no gifts at Christmas, the voluntary simplicity movement, and anti-consumption ethics and campaigns (such as Buy Nothing Day) promoted by Adbusters.
Is it helpful to buy local, buy fair trade, and shop ethically? Yes, but it is a drop in the bucket when we look at the big picture.
Here's the dilemma: less consumption is very good for the environment, but when people don't buy stuff, other people don't have jobs. People fear losing jobs and incomes which is why the green movement has stalled for decades and almost all politicians promise jobs and growth.
However, there is a way out of this dilemma and it is an idea increasing numbers of people around the world are talking about -- direct cash transfers to transition to an economy that takes into account environmental limits as well "technological unemployment" (loss of jobs from increased productivity).
With the timely implementation of universal incomes, we really could have an ethical consumption economy – and we could finally end the harms caused by an economy based on endless consumption. In addition, local and micro-enterprises would flourish.
Learn more about the movement for universal incomes*:
- Basic Income Earth Network News
- Basic Income Canada Network
- Positive outcomes from pilot projects in Canada and Namibia
Learn more about technological unemployment:
- "Will Work For Free" 2013 film (youtube) full of examples and easy to understand.
- "Millennial Panic" highly recommended, a serious podcast (on Soundcloud) by humourists Cracked.com. (if you can't use the new soundcloud - try Earwolf.com instead)
- "Are Jobs Obsolete?" Douglas Rushkoff
- Find more - search on twitter by using the hashtag #techunemployment
*Note: when you search online for "basic income" or "guaranteed livable income",
AVOID information from a multi-level marketing (MLM) scam - "equal money" that has
co-opted terms "basic income" and "living income". Read more about this here and here.