This month I’m trying to start a trend in my buying and spending habits: waste as little as possible, buy as little as possible. Recycling is fine, but I also want to eliminate the amount of waste we create, period, as well as trying to decrease the amount of packaging and wrapping we go through. My hope is that we can live more simply, not accumulate more stuff while getting rid of stuff we don’t use, and save money to use for experiences, rather than junk that piles up.
Part of this is keeping myself out of major chain grocery/super stores. I always end up buying stuff that wasn’t on my list in there, not to mention that it is all contained in lots of packaging and never local. So we’re doing our produce, milk, dairy, and baked goods from the co-op and Amish community, and of course there is no packaging, or we re-use containers, plus I use my own bags.
Another part of it is not buying a ton of shit off of Amazon.com. It’s so addicting. It’ll occur to me that I want something, and BAM, I buy it. Especially when it comes to M… she doesn’t play with most of her toys, she gets all the clothes she needs from hand-me-downs. Really, what do we actually need? Not that much. We actually have everything we need, and buying more of everything is not going to make us happier. Moving towards being centered, conscious, and thoughtful in our actions will make us happier. Living a life that aligns with our conscience will make us happier. Having new and meaningful experiences that we can share with each other, the people we love, will make us happier. Learning about the world around us will make us happier. All this stuff, books and toys and gadgets and whatnot, will only make us poorer and less able to do what we want to do, not to mention contributing to a society of waste and corporations and mass production/transit.
I’m looking forward to the Reduce Your Waste series on A Thoughtful Life, and I’m also inspired by The Year Without A Purchase, whose book I would like to read eventually. One more inspiration to me is Brooke at ByTheBrooke, who is trying to buy nothing new this year, only used!