Consumerism going over the top

Another Christmas has come and gone. The yearly orgy of consumerism is thankfully over. This year another few billions of dollars will have been wasted on unwanted presents, wrapping paper, tinsel and mountains of food. At lot will have gone to waste and ended in landfill as garbage.

I know that it’s all well and good to recycle and buy green products, but is it enough? Do we really NEED all the stuff that we seem to accumulate on a  daily basis?

The mountains of trash we throw out every year are choking our waterways and landfills; and what about the floating trash islands in the ocean? We are not doing the Earth or ourselves a service by being careless consumers. We do not need to purchase new clothes to stay in fashion just as soon as a new trend emerges. We do not need to update our car on a yearly basis or keep up with the latest gadget. There is no need to wear sacks or be a martyr about it, we just have to be smarter than the latest advertising campaign that tells us that we cannot live without such an item or an other.

We can be in fashion by being just plain stylish, classic clothes with classic cuts always do the job and we won’t have to be fashion victims.

Things we can do to avoid consumerism:

  • Turn off TV, record your favourite programs and replay them without the ads, this way you may only watch what you want without the brain washing of commercial TV.
  • Have a clothing budget and stick to it. As a matter of fact budgeting is a great way not to overspend, give yourself a monthly allowance for the little purchases that can accumulate and blow your budget.
  • Make a list of food you need and plan your weekly menus in advance. You will spend less this way and you will not let food go to waste.
  •  Buy a little less than what you think you need and stretch it.
  •  Only allow yourself one small treat a week.
  • Learn to mend clothes and alter them, it is a lot more economical and less wasteful than always buying new.  Become familiar with Ebay and snag yourself some amazing bargains.
  • Check out garage sales or op/ shops (thrift shops), often you can find new or nearly new at a fraction of the price.
  • Don’t buy new books, borrow from your local library or join a book exchange in your area. You could save a few trees this way as well as supporting great institutions like the local library.
  • This goes to for the newspapers and magazines, read them online or at the library. You will be saving trees.
  • Forget the car, ride on buses or get a bicycle, it is better for your health and fitness. Driving a car in the city is a major stress factor, by taking buses you get to know the city and you can relax. If you must use your car try to share the ride.
  • Buy your music online and download to your device, this way you bypass the whole CD production, printing of labels and shipping. You will save a lot of resources.
  • The same goes for movies, they are easy enough to purchase online.

Learn to see how you can buy less, when you see this really amazing bargain for yet another pair of boots you should get because they are 50% off. A method that works for me is not to allow myself to impulse buy and wait at least one day or two, very often I realise that I can very well do without that item.