As I've mentioned before, and will undoubtedly mention again, we need to stop consuming so much. After watching the video, The Story of Stuff, I was compelled to address this topic again. As consumers, we control the companies and their business models. In basic economics, there is the theory of supply and demand. Simply, if there is a demand (consumption), someone will meet it with supply (producers and products). However, if there is dwindling demand (consumption), then it follows that the supply (producers and products) will also fall. After watching the video, you will see how much the stuff we buy affects everything. Being a conscious consumer most importantly means consuming less and making better consumer decisions such as what we buy, who we buy it from, how much we buy, and how long it will last. The cheapest price doesn't always have the greatest value; in fact it rarely has decent value. Also the life of the product should be considered.
All you need to do is think before you purchase something, "Do I support the circumstances that made this product?" "Why am I in/directly supporting this company/product?"
After you ask yourself these simple questions, you can be considered a responsible consumer.