Ideas for Conscious Consumption

I’m thinking more about what I consume and its long-term effects — from both local/personal and global perspectives. Here, I’ll list some small actions and a little bit about my motivation for each of them.

1. Purchase Music From The Artists Directly

I’ve been a little intimidated by closing and unsubscribing from Spotify because it feels like I use this service on a daily basis. I’m not a big podcast listener, so whenever I’m in the car I almost always have Spotify pulled up. At the same time, month after month, I watch my premium subscription hit my credit account — and while the $9.99/month fee is palatable, I couldn’t help but wonder how much the artists that work and sacrifice to create music are paid per stream. This is a good breakdown of each streaming service’s pay-per-stream. The following graphic sums up a major point: for as vital as I make music out to be in my daily life, I’m not paying artists nearly enough for the work that they do.


Once creating my own music with aspirations of monetizing it to some degree, I’m familiar with some of the platforms out there for artists to share their work. In the cobwebs of my brain, Bandcamp comes to mind, and I’m glad to see that it’s still a stable and thriving platform. For now, I’m shifting to listening to music through Bandcamp and actually purchasing the songs/albums that I enjoy.

For more food for thought, check out this Pitchfork article.

Bottom line: purchase from the artists that you enjoy. $1 directly spent to the artist is equal to hundreds of streams.

(After spending about a week on Bandcamp, there’s a limitless amount of great music that I’m discovering. It just proves that there’s an abundance of life and artistry to be had if you take the leap.)

Quick Aside here: About a year ago, I was kicking it with Keir Worthy — a hip-hop legend and ambassador of the culture — and talking about how I felt as if my music listening habits had changed. I’d let Spotify automate recommendations, which let me forget who I was actually listening to. Over time I needed to depend on a certain groove to play in the car without identifying who was providing the jam. In a way music was becoming background noise (though I’m interested in background noise and easy listening as a genre). What I mean to say is that automation distanced me from the meaning that music reaches for.

Credit to Matt Sonzala for the write up above.

2. Less Plastics in the Bathroom (and in general)

Bottom line: instead of those big ass shampoo and body wash bottles, just use bar soap and find a shampoo bar.

More follow.

3. Break Free from Amazon — Including Most Subscription Services

Bottom line: I got rid of my Amazon account a few years ago and I haven’t experienced any significant or catastrophic repercussions.

Things I’ve thought about: While Amazon doubled its profit during the pandemic, the number of Americans filing for unemployment skyrocketed.

More to follow.

Honestly, this can probably be broken up into two sections: Break Free from Amazon and Reevaluate Subscription Services.

3a. Re-evaluate Subscription Services

More to follow.

4. Buy/Thrift Second Hand Clothing

Bottom line: I hardly purchase new clothing — if necessary, I try to be deliberate in finding out where it’s coming from. Second hand clothing is often cheaper than new clothing as are repairs (pants, elbows in shirts, etc.) for those clothes.

More to follow.

(I’ll continue editing this story as thoughts develop. Thanks for tuning in.)

My life revolves around words. |