Open Streets: Community and the Conscious Consumer

When I was turning 16 all I wanted was my license and the freedom that driving my mom’s ’85 Toyota Corolla would bring to my friends and me. It took me two attempts to pass the driver’s test thanks to not being able to see over the snow banks to parallel park. Now here I am a couple decades later with even bigger snow banks in Minneapolis and instead of with enthusiasm, I use a car begrudgingly. Insurance, gas, payments, maintenance, etc. — it all just seems so grown-up. Not to mention the eco-guilt I feel contributing to congestion and pollution.

Biking makes me feel like a kid. Riding on my Electra Townie and ringing my bell is also just plain fun, and riding with my kid, makes it even more fun. As a Conscious Consumer, I try to balance the need for driving with not driving … Read More »



How a seemingly unusual Conscious Consumer partnership can work. And work well.

At first glance you wouldn’t expect a garden center and a restaurant to be in a good place to develop a partnership. Who could imagine Lowes or Home Depot locking arms with Chipotle? But when you get local and layer in values that are Conscious Consumer-based, it can work quite well. In fact, even feel like a very natural fit. And that’s because it is.

Recently I’ve seen an event for a local garden supply company popping up a lot in my Facebook feed. Tangletown Gardens is hosting a Farm Supper and Wise Acre Eatery is catering. Ok, that makes sense. Like many field-to-table events, this is being hosted on a farm where you can enjoy a multicourse meal with wine pairings. No big deal and nothing unusual here, right?

But when you look below the surface and begin to dig into … Read More »



Raising the next generation of Conscious Consumers

“Never underestimate the appeal for children of buying their own fruits and vegetables” was the headline that caught my eye in a recent Star Tribune article. This simple headline highlights a key emotional connection that happens when you build a conscious consumption habit–the feeling of joy that comes from making a positive impact on the world, your family or your health. For kids, it’s no different.

The article highlights the emergence of the Power of Produce (POP) program in the Minneapolis/St. Paul farmers markets. The goal of the program is to help kids engage with their local farmers markets by learning to make healthy food choices. Kids are given $2 tokens each time they visit, which they may spend on fresh produce that day (sorry, baked goods don’t count). Or, they can save their tokens for larger items, like watermelons.

The concept is simple … Read More »



Conscious Consumers and Tiny House Movement

Education by osmosis. That is our mantra for sharing our study of the Conscious Consumer internally at the agency. From natural integration into client strategies (when it makes sense) to designing posters to line our hallways with quotes from this blog, we try to make our look at Conscious Consumers a part of every day at the office.

For many of us, this work comes home with us as well. In my house, my wife and I are trying to lead by example with our two young children by buying and eating local and organic, composting and recycling, and trying to walk and bike more on the weekends. We seem to be making some progress because right now our six-year-old’s favorite TV shows are Tiny House Hunters on HGTV and Tiny House Nation on FYI.

Apparently gone are the days of her … Read More »



Being present: A different kind of Conscious Consumer

Our well-established definition of Conscious Consumer is “one who considers health, environment and social responsibility when making decisions.” I’ll spare you the details of our heated internal debate about whether to call these folks “conscious” or “conscientious” – but I was originally on the “conscientious” bandwagon. I’m very much at peace with our decision, though, as one definition of conscious is “aware of and responding to one’s surroundings; awake.” I think that hits the nail on the head of what Conscious Consumers are all about; they’re aware of the world around them and their impact on it; they’re responding to it with good intentions. We normally talk about the marketer’s role in facilitating conscious consumption, but there’s another “conscious” trend bubbling that I want to discuss today, because it’s an insight that sheds light on our ever-evolving use of technology … Read More »