Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Wasserman of joins Conscious Magazine to launch a column on Consciously Clean Living . This topic is important to Elizabeth because of her passion for empowering people to lead healthier lives through honest, accurate, relatable and personally-tested information. Check out her interview and feature here.

In an ideal world, all companies would aim to help customers harness their purchasing power to create healthier lives and a more sustainable environment. This is not an ideal world – but it could be.

As humans, friends and partners in this journey we call life, we’ve got tremendous power to move mountains and touch the heavens. We’re never alone, and together we’re finding ways to make our voices heard. One powerful way we’re doing this is through our conscious and informed purchasing behavior.

Oftentimes money speaks louder than words.
The choice to spend – or not spend – is a truly mighty one. It doesn’t fall lightly on our shoulders, but it’s a burden we should celebrate, embrace, and put to good and frequent use. What better time to do this than over the holidays?

Take a stand and purchase gifts from companies you can trust with goods you can get behind. Make sure their product safety standards are non-negotiable, period. On the flip side, don’t buy gifts from companies who sell products with known toxins. Hit them where it hurts – the proverbial bottom line.

It’s my belief that purchasing equals power, and more companies need to focus their efforts on making change, not just a buck
Increasingly, companies are realizing that customers care a lot about the safety of products for themselves and their loved ones, and won’t tolerate toxins or harmful ingredients. Gradually, they’re starting to require that the products they carry must move people toward better health and our environment toward greater sustainability.

Nonetheless, the task of product safety verification still largely falls to the everyday consumer. Yet, understandably, not everyone wants to be an environmental detective, lead a watchdog group, advocate for massive social progress, or get a PhD in toxicology and nutritional science. Instead, what most of us want is to simply be able to trust our sources and follow their lead; informed, empowered, and eyes wide open. So here’s some unsolicited advice:

What we give to our loved ones matters, in more ways than one
Offering gifts that are non-toxic is a meaningful way to show how much you really care. It’s a unique opportunity to spread joy, laughter, and health. If you’re looking for easier ways to make powerful purchasing decisions, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of brands crafting fabulously pure products these days.

Organic cotton robes, phthalate-free candles, formaldehyde-free bamboo cutting boards, paraben-free body products – the sustainability-minded wish list goes on and on… So forge ahead with holiday shopping this year knowing it’s easier than ever to make safe and responsible choices, without compromising the fun and excitement of gift giving.

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From the Editor
At Conscious, we are inspired by remarkable people, and so we set out to tell stories that highlight real human interactions and human dignity. You can read more stories like this when you pick up your copy of Conscious Magazine. Subscribe today via our Conscious Shop and subscribe to Conscious Updates.