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What ​LOHAS Means

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bunny.jpgPronounced low-hoss, LOHAS stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. It describes a group of consumers who want to do business with companies that share their interests and priorities. LOHAS-leaning individuals are typically described in terms of a broad group of intersecting values, concerns and priorities, and the criteria they use in making purchases, investments and lifestyle decisions.

HEALTHY LIVING: This is the most common entry point to the LOHAS market. It encompasses organic foods, natural products, nutritional supplements, and a wide variety of health and fitness pursuits.

ALTERNATIVE HEALTHCARE: LOHAS consumers actively seek out information and services related to integrative healthcare and holistic disease prevention, including practices such as acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Perceiving the connection between physical and mental health, LOHAS types take a strong interest in personal development and growth, including investigations of mind-body-emotion-spirit connections, self-help, leadership and life-balance topics. They like to seek out new experiences and constantly learning.

ECOLOGICAL LIFESTYLES: Because they see their own health and the planet’s health as inherently tied, LOHAS consumers tend to embrace recycling, green building, ecotourism and all sorts of eco-friendly home and office products. They are better informed than average about ecological topics.

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY: From renewable energy sources and socially responsible investing to fair-trade principles and “triple bottom line” accounting (which considers social and environmental performance, as well as fiscal profits), LOHAS consumers like to promote fair, ethical and sustainable business practices. They prefer doing business with companies that promote a holistic worldview and that share their values.

Here is a check list to see where you fall into the LOHAS category, If you can relate to any of these statements then you are well on your way. If you can't relate at all to any of these statements and think it is totally crazy, then you are part of the 20% of the population that is 'UNCONCERNED'. You do not want to fall into this category of complacency. Do one thing and become a part of the movement!

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Twelve Steps to LOHAS

1. Your collection of 'Tupperware" consists of a mismatched collection of old take-out containers.

2. You only shower a few times a week and can be finished in less five minutes.

3. You have become very creative with lentils, using them for everything that once called for ground beef.

4. It takes you a very long time to shop because you are scrutinizing EVERY label and ingredient and making sure it has not come from Mexico or China.

5. Your friends no longer ask you for advice on products or green living because they know you are just going to tell them eventually anyways.

6. You have Ziploc bags hanging to dry in creative ways all over the kitchen.

7. You try to recycle EVERYTHING even if it isn't recyclable so your blue bin always comes back with returned items.

8. You are constantly walking around the house turning off lights after people and muttering about wasted energy.

9. You only need to put out the garbage every couple of weeks, because, well, you recycle everything!

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10. You may be referred to as a 'Hippie' or 'Crazy' by people that know you. Sometimes they may even say you are wearing a tin foil hat -or maybe that's just my friends!

11. You give people who don't use a canvas or reusable bag at the grocery store a dirty look, and you want to scream at them when they ask for double bags.

12. If the place that you are working at, does not have a recycling bin, you either take home your recyclables or bring your own bin to work. Or you go one step further and even initiate a recycling program!

All kidding aside, this consumer demographic is the largest growing sector of the market. Back in 2009 only 20% of consumers that fell into this category and 80% were UNCONCERNED. Now it has switched, where 80% of people are at least trying to adopt this lifestyle in one way or another. Don't get left behind. The easiest thing that you can do, starting today is READ THE LABEL when you are making purchases. Be informed. Knowledge is power!

Do One Thing!

This is an easy way to get on board the LOHAS movement. It starts doing one thing. By being informed and understanding that as individuals our decisions do matter. Collectively as a group of over 2.5 billion people on this planet, we decide what corporations will make and how they make it. They are making products that we want to buy, so what we buy is very important. The next step is not to buy those products that don't fit the LOHAS definition. So products and companies that are not sustainable, or are use damaging ingredients or are harming the environment with their manufacturing, are not what you want to be supporting. It will involve changing your patterns of behavior and opening up your mind to new things. It may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, because change can be difficult but it does get easier and you will feel better, and the reward is good health and a happy planet. After all LOHAS is a LIFESTYLE! 

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Stephanie Storm, Creative Designer, Nature Enthusiast, Lifestyle of Heath and Sustainability.

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