Ethical Consumerism

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Young people discuss and debate the issues related to ethical consumerism and the common good, and consider how their spending habits reflect their values.

PrintOne 55-Minute Session
  • Research public or social issues related to the common good. Form an opinion and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
  • Analyze and synthesize information to differentiate fact from opinion, evaluating the effects of individual actions on other people.
  • Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
  • Describe the responsibility we have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
  • Discuss the concept of corporate citizenship and corporate responsibility for the common good.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Play the Kahoot game linked above. After each question, discuss their answers related to buying practices that reflect our values. 

  2. Discuss what this quote means: “We don’t have a choice on whether to consume or not; the only choice is whether or not we want to make our decisions count towards the greater good.”

    • What are some decisions consumers can make that would count towards the greater good? 
    • As a group, define  "greater good" and “ethical consumer.”
  3. Discuss the privilege of making buying choices that reflect our values by discussing this quote:

    “Ethical products generally cost more, like free-range animals, which requires owning more land…Because ethical consumption is cost prohibitive, there's a risk that ethical consumerism will be divided along class lines. The ability just to consume, 'ethically' could be like a pastime of the wealthier, right? You have the leisure, you have the ability in the spending to do this."
    ~ Jason Dana,  Ethical consumerism: Spending money on your values (Business Insider, 2022)

    • Can only rich people be ethical consumers? What are ways to be ethical consumers without spending more money?
    • What does it mean to "vote with your dollars"?
  4. Watch the videos and discuss how we can live philanthropically with our time, talent, and treasure in this activity: How to Live Philanthropically.

  5. What is your favorite company from which you purchase items (food, clothes, electronics)?
    Go to your chosen company’s website and locate information that describes the company’s commitment to “the common good.” (Look for terms like sustainability, corporate responsibility, community giving, social impact.)