Hello everyone ! Welcome back ! Last week we talked about changing and the keys you need to hold in mind when changing. Today I’m gonna share with you actual advices on how to stop high-consuming and change our society’s economic model. For each piece of advice, I’ll also tell you how it can help changing, what it means, why I include it in this post. My goal today is not to convert everyone to slow-living and so on. No, my goal is to give you keys and explain them to you, so that you know what can be done and what each key means, because the best way to achieve something is to understand the steps you are taking on the path. For me it is crucial. Also, not everyone can follow each advice I’ll give you today, me the first, and that is for many reasons. Each one of us can do whatever they can do, depending on their situation.
Let’s get started !
#1 Reuse and recycle. When it comes to storage ideas (for food, clothes, anything), before buying, look at what you already got at home. In my case, I always keep the glass jars from jams, compotes sauces and so on, so that I can reuse them when making some jams, marmelade, food canning. I also keep the ice cream boxes from my relatives to store my compotes. I also keep cardboard boxes to create some drawers dividers, wardrobe strage solutions, and even for packages.
#2 Thrift. Just as reusing does, thrifting allows us not to grow too much the amount of produced goods in the world. When buying second-hand, you tend to reduce the demand for new products from the industry. If we look at the thing from an extreme point of view, let’s imagine that the vast majority of people buy exclusively second-hand. If it’s the case, then the industry would produce far less, which means a lower consumption. Of course, it’ll never be this way, I’m just using this extreme picture to emphasize how meaningful reusing and thrifting are, when you want to reduce your consumption.
#3 Stop buying online, except if it’s second-hand. It’ll allows you not to get easily tempted and thus not dive in compulsive buying. I personnaly think that buying online is one of the most important factors consumption-speaking, because when buying online, you don’t really see the amount you’re buying, you lose your senses, you cannot feel the materials, you cannot visualize the dimensions and so on. When buying online, you don’t realize how much you’re buying, like you would in a shop with your cart/basket. Only buying in person helps a lot to get conscious of how much you consume.
#4 Live in the countryside, far away from temptations and frenzy of cities. It may sounds ridiculous as a solution, but it is really effective. The lifestyle and pace are different from the city to the countryside. In cities you spend you life running, being pressured from all around you to get as much as possible. Here in the countryside, I’m not tempted like I was in the city. There are no shops around me, tempting me with their appealing showwindows and products. When I go out for shopping, it’s grocery shopping most of the time or for something specific, something I really need. This way, I buy far much less, compared to my living-in-the-city time.
#5 Make by yourself as much as possible. It’s the same spirit as with reusing/recycling. However, you add something else to the thing you make yourself. As you spend time making it, choosing the materials and so on, you add value to it. Mostly sentimental value, you know the kind “I made it myself, it’s unique and I was able to make myself something for my needs.” And this kind of value is very important, very powerful as you realize it takes time, energy and patience to make good quality things, useful things, something you’re not as conscious about when buying new in the store, or even less when buying online.
#6 Run away from ads (on the Internet, on the TV and so on). Do it for obvious reasons. The best way to do it, is to turn off the TV (in my case it’s very easy as we don’t have TV subscription, we only have a television set with what’s necessary to watch VHS and DVD), and to keep away as much as possible from your mobile and computer.
#7 Choose quality over quantity. Most of the time, it means you’ll buy more expensive things, since the price usually rises up the same as the quality does. When you buy something at a higher price, you always tend to buy less of it (unless you’re a billionaire). It’s better to have fewer items lasting longer than more things lasting a very short amount of time.
#8 Buy things you really need and things that have a value (things that seem special to you). There are many things that you don’t really need and that brings you nothing (except clutter and problems) . Those should leave you shopping basket forever. However, there are other things you don’t necessarily need very often but that brings you joy, reminds you of something good (a travel, a meeting, anything), things that hold a sentimental value most of the time. I think those shouldn’t be banished from our lives. Life is not just about needs, practicity, usefulness, productivity. Life is also about living, experiencing the world, loving, giving, creating beauty. We’re not robots that just need some electrical recharging from time to time. We’re human beings, who need history, memory, love, beauty, relationships and so on.
That’s all for my advices on how to lower one’s consumption. I hope you found it interesting and useful. There are probably other ways that I didn’t mention in this article, so please let us know in the comments your thoughts. Having multiple opinions and ideas is always very helpful and enlightening when going through such processes.
Thank you for passsing by and reading my blog. Your support, even silent, is always valuable to me and bring me more joy than you can imagine.
I’ll talk to you soon in a next post.
Until then, take care of yourself ❤