Episode 3: Conscious Consumerism: Can We Buy Away Our Problems?

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Is it possible to buy ourselves out of our social and environmental problems? This week we explore this question with Mathew Gerson, founder and President of eConscious Market, an online philanthropic eco-mall. In this dialogue we first dive into eConscious and its vision for becoming one of the world's largest online marketplaces for the exchange of socially and environmentally responsible goods. Mathew also tells us about eConscious' new hybird for-benefit business structure, where giving is the new getting, and 50% of all net profits are donated to a non-profit of the consumers choice.

As we dive more into our initial question, we begin to explore the contours and contributions of the conscious consumerism movement and examine its potential for social and environmental transformation. We look at how conscious consumerism is changing the nature of individual businesses, entire markets, and the individual consumer. We also examine how conscious consumerism is an opportunity for us to start bringing our values into the purchasing act.

As we go deeper still, we explore the aesthetics of care, or the trend to not only instill our prized objects with beauty and utility, but also with goodness, or a quality of being ethically created. We then bridge into the difficulty of wanting to think socially and ecologically with the reality of needing to think economically and what solutions might exist for this seeming paradox.

Finally, to close it out, we address the difficulty of wanting to encourage companies to make strides in their environmental and social impact, without validating their continued acts of irresponsibility.

So listen in and join the dialogue! And don't forget to visit Mathew and his wonderful team at www.econsciousmarket.com.

This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Conscious Business and the Internet.