For me, the move toward ethical consumerism - while expensive and time-intensive - seemed straight-ish forward to me. Buy better, get others to buy better, change the world. A few months ago I began to use Treehugger as a reference to learn more about sustainability and ethical consumerism. Treehugger is an incredibly rich resource; it's honest and thorough. The less good news? Sometimes the dark underbelly of corporate giants, the reality of my lil footprint, the vastness of the task of "sustainability" on an individual level make me want to quit before I've even had the chance to not buy a Patagonia jacket.
Here are two starter articles that pushed my thinking on ethical consumerism, a topic in which I am forever trying to gain efficacy.
Let your purchase power be only one of the superpowers you use in your arsenal, to fight climate change and human rights violations.
"The retailer's primary interest—even the ethical retailer—is the business of selling goods."
"...making their political voice heard."
Think of each choice you make as a consumer in a broader context; focus on your decisions' contribution to a larger systemic change, rather than focusing only on the literal environmental impact of your choice.
"Installing solar panels on your home isn't primarily about cutting your own personal impact—it's about making a strategic investment in an emerging clean energy infrastructure, and choosing a point of leverage where you believe you can create wider social change."
"...individual lifestyle choices are not a valid metric for cultural and political change."
*This "sentence, phrase, word" framing is an exercise the brilliant principals where I used to teach used to help us digest and share out, when reading articles.