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Conscious Consumption Practices Gain Favor as Consumers Make Informed Choices
"Being a responsible investor or a conscious consumer is not about recanting capitalism, but about making informed choices."
Philipp Rickenbacher is the chief executive officer at Bank Julius Baer in Zürich, Switzerland. In the following viewpoint, the author argues that global trends indicate a shift away from indulging and buying luxury items as consumers become more conscious of what they buy and who they buy it from. Rickenbacher explains how strict labor and environmental regulations in developed countries have driven manufacturers to developing countries where these companies do not face such restrictions and can produce goods more cheaply. However, the author maintains, consumers are placing an increased value on the conditions in which products are made. Consequently, Rickenbacher asserts, customers increasingly engage in conscious consumerism, in which their purchasing habits are influenced by the social, environmental, and political factors involved.
Buying Green Products Is an Inadequate Environmental Remedy
"When wannabe environmentalists try to change purchasing habits without also altering their consumer mind-set, something gets lost in translation."
Buying green is a sign that people recognize the need to protect the environment, claims Monica Hesse in the following viewpoint. However, she argues, consuming green products is not the solution. Consumption will not solve the nation's environmental challenges, Hesse explains. To be truly green means to buy less, not green, she maintains. Replacing products thought to be environmentally unsound increases consumption, which in turn increases environmental problems, she reasons. Hesse is a staff writer for The Washington Post.