Take a quick skip around social media and it’s likely you will come across (be bombarded???) with words like:

Artisanal, slow living, minimalism, craftsman, handmade, ethical, sustainable……..The list goes on. 

These trending “buzzwords”  have the ability to reach large swaths of people in a short spanof time.  Unfortunately, despite their ability to reach so many people, buzzwords-in their current format-as an educational tool are largely useless.  Typically an individual associates a buzzword with a very limited scope of its full meaning.  This leads to buzzwords being used inappropriately and ineffectively, causing dilution of a word with MEANING that could have a very positive social and environmental impact.  I see brands selling and marketing products saying they are (insert buzzwords here) when a quick look over their products and the (lack of) information they provide clearly shows they are not.  The ill-informed consumer makes it easy for companies to mislead them using buzzwords and minimal information-usually in conjunction with aesthetically pleasing images-that they do not have to back up with factual information.  I can’t even count the number of websites spewing mindfulness, sustainability and organic living practices while simultaneously hawking synthetic (non-biodegradable) heavily dyed activewear for your next yoga session. REALLY? As consumers it’s in our power to make these companies WALK THEIR TALK.

Even with movements like slow living, mindful living, minimalism etc….There is still too much focus on consumerism without education regarding WHAT we are consuming.  Purchasing expensive, minimal goods that have no transparency in their production is not “sustainable” “ethical” or “mindful”.  There will always be companies trying to capitalize on trending buzzwords regardless of how applicable that buzzword is to their company.  This is why consumer education is so critical, we as individuals need to inform ourselves, ask the right questions and demand better transparency.

To help wade through the confusion I'm starting a new series focusing on breaking down buzzwords to better understand their meaning.  Here's how it will go:

I will announce a common buzzword as a topic and then spend the next few months exploring that topic in-depth.  Once I have covered a topic thoroughly I will set a new topic to explore...and so on and so forth.

New articles on the current topic will be posted every SUNDAY  

First topic is:

Definition: the ability for a product or action to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed indefinitely without harm (or using while replenishing to negate use) to any of the resources it utilizes.

Look for the first post Sunday 11-29-15