Akhila is a Justmeans staff writer for CSR and ethical consumption. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she i...
Green Living: Buy Good, Feel Great With Blissmo
Changing Consumer Choices with Blissmo
Awhile ago I wrote about MindBodyGreen, a website that caters exclusively to greenies. Now, however Sundeep Ahuja is aiming to do one better with his newest venture Blissmo. The site aims to connect savvy shoppers with organic, sustainable products and services through weekly discounts of up to 50% off. Sundeep has previously worked with kiva.org and says that the experience sparked his "desire to build a website that would enable consumers to address climate change and environmental degradation in some direct way." What better way to do this than tap into the buying power that every consumer has?
Sundeep believes that every consumer wants the best product that there is. He says, "when you truly serve these three constituencies in how you source, manufacture and deliver your product, more often than not you're serving the planet as well. That's why we always emphasize the exceptional nature of the products we feature and how they are superior to conventional alternatives, from both a quality and sustainability perspective."
At Blissmo they look into the life cycle of every product to ensure that the impact of these products on environment and society is minimal. Consumers generally do not think about what happens to stuff when it gets tossed out nor do they think about manufacturing impact. This has the capacity to negatively affect people and communities. According to Sundeep, "the more transparent we can be about the people behind the products we promote -- and how we are all affected by the entire sourcing, manufacturing & delivery process - the more connected our consumption choices will become. "
Buy Good, Feel Great
Blissmo's tagline reads, "Buy Good, Feel Great" and when I asked why this was chosen Sundeep responded from a more personal view point saying that, "I try to buy organic foods on a regular basis because I believe they are better for my body than conventional alternatives. By seeking out superior alternatives for my health, I'm often simultaneously making the better consumer choice for the planet as well. It's the perfect feedback loop - I feel better, so I buy better, and the environment gets some TLC in the process."
Myth of the "Green Premium"
He also mentioned that it is unfortunate that eco-friendly products have a perception of being more expensive. He aptly called it the "myth of the green premium" as he explained that although conventional products may cost a few cents less at the cash register they carry a "fully loaded cost" that includes all the externalities. Blissmo wants to make the true cost of consumption more transparent and will focus on boosting people's health and wellness through affordable, eco-friendly products.
We are already seeing an increase in demand for sustainable products and this is a growing trend. This will eventually result in greener products becoming more affordable. All of this is just simple economics and Blissmo wants a share in turning the market around.
Sundeep signed off by saying, "affordability is not just what we pay at the register; it's about the impact of what we buy on our health, on public health, and our planet's health."
Photo Credit: Blissmo Logo. Thanks to Megan MacDonald and Sundeep Ahuja for their time and input.