A Starting Place For Conscious Living

An Introduction To Building A Conscious Lifestyle

Our work at The Good Trade is fueled by the fundamental idea that consumers are powerful and the dollars we spend each day are a vote for the world we want to live in. When we take simple actions together, we can create transformation. 

If you are reading this, you have probably already decided that a conscious lifestyle is a worthwhile pursuit. For most of us, the real test is in how that pursuit is walked out in everyday decision making. Our team has created this guide as a starting point for your journey. We’ve included 5 common areas of our lives that we feel offer us the most effective opportunities for change. You can jump right in by clicking the categories above to choose where you would like to begin. 


A Conscious Perspective

Why It Matters

Getting started can be difficult. Many issues surrounding conscious living are framed up in life or death scenarios, like ending climate change or child labor. It is tempting to jump in with lots of passion but no plan. Ultimately, this equation leads to discouragement and makes it far more difficult to make incremental changes that can be sustained. Before you begin your journey to a more ethical lifestyle, give yourself a mental reset and consider a few truths that form a foundation for the shift.


Not one of us that can end child labor or environmental damage on our own. Yet millions of consumers around the world are beginning to put their money and their effort into more conscious consumption. This groundswell is changing the way that companies from Nike to Colgate operate to respect their supply chains and reduce their environmental footprint.  

Don't underestimate common sense

It is easy to get stuck comparing the nuances of product and lifestyle choices with the aim of making an ethically infallible choice. The truth is, it’s rare to find a choice that is perfect. When consumers sincerely pursue brands and lifestyles that match up to common sense definitions of goodness, decisions become clearer and progress speeds up.

Decide Ahead of Time

Making ethical decisions at the moment of purchase is a common pitfall that leaves consumers guilt ridden or overwhelmed.  Making consumer decisions ahead of time and sticking to them leads to the best succcess. This planning process does not need to be rigorous, in fact, we find that it is most effective when it starts with a few simple decisions that are easy to execute.


A Conscious Closet 

Why It Matters

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza tragedy killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh and wounded over 2,200 more. The incident left consumers all over the world questioning who makes the clothes we wear everyday and in what kind of conditions? Documentaries like The True Cost shine a light on how the fast fashion industry depletes the earth’s resources and leverages slave labor to pass on a "cheap" cost to the end consumer. The ethical and environmental concerns with the fashion industry make our closets an important place to begin. 

Conscious steps you can take




Where to Learn More



A Conscious Kitchen

Why It Matters

The choices we make in the kitchen determine a lot about our health and wellness but they also have a significant impact on the world around us. The kitchen generates the most waste of any room in our homes. The USDA estimates that 31% of food in America is thrown away and that more than two thirds of that waste occurs in our household kitchens. This waste puts a burden on both global food supply and the environment. Our kitchens also presents our biggest opportunity to recycle and re-use things like cans, bottles and containers.

Conscious Steps You can take

  • Set Up a Recycle Container and Compost Bin

  • Remove Disposable Paper and Plastic From Your Kitchen Routine

  • Reduce Meat consumption

  • Eat Locally Sourced or Organic Produce and Meat

Where to Learn More


A Conscious Home

WHy It Matters

Our homes are a natural place to continue our conscious consumption overhaul. They are the space that provides comfort, warmth and protection for our families but they can also become a catch-all for a lifestyle filled with more than we really need. Fortunately, minimalism is an emerging solution that many consumers are using to eliminate wasteful excess and environmental impact. Minimalism is actually quite simple, it comes down to quality over quantity.

Conscious steps you can takE

  • Buy organic and eco-friendly textiles when possible

  • Invest in consciously made furniture 

  • Before purchasing ANy Item, imagine where it will live in your home and how long it may last

where to Learn More 


Conscious Gifts

Why It Matters

Gift shopping allows us to throw off the constraints of practicality and make someone’s day. Gifts don’t make up the biggest line item in our monthly budget, but they offer a wonderful opportunity to support businesses that are making a difference. Gifts are also a natural way to pass on your passion for ethics through a product that has a story. 

What You Can Do

  • Intentionally choose gifts that give back to people and planet

  • Share the story and significance of the product with the recipient



The Big Things

Why It Matters

Banking, energy and transportation are three major lines on most budgets. They also represent clear opportunities for our conscious choices to help create new standards for transparency and care for the planet. 

What You Can Do 

  • Consider switching Your Home to Green Power Sources (This costs slightly more but can be done through your same utility without any new hardware)

  • Convert your home to solar or geothermal (requires a full conversion but can make your home Fully sustainable)

  • Purchase an energy efficient vehicle and carpool when possible

  • Switch to a Credit Union That re-invests profits into the community and offers the same services as a traditional bank

Learn More