8 Ways to Stop Mindlessly Consuming.


Let’s face it, at some point or another, we stumbled through life like a hatchback-driving zombie, feeding on BOGO coupons, triple-ply paper towels and reruns of Parks and Rec. We were “too busy” to process where all our stuff came from, who made it, or what happened to it once we’ve trashed it.  

Here are 8 tips to help us mindfully consume - and stay zombie-free this holiday.

1. Freeze your spending (on purpose).

Take a little time to evaluate what, when and how you’re buying things. Decide what you can cut and maybe even stop spending on non-essential stuff for one month. The one-month spending freeze is like giving up caffeine or sugar — it’s tough at first, but when you stop craving it, you can see wayyyy more clearly and decide what’s really important.

2. Know thyself.

Feeling down, stressed or uncool? Maybe wandering aimlessly through the mall is just the thing you need. OR maybe not. Recognizing your emotional state when you shop can help you understand why you buy stuff and help you shop more mindfully.

3. Declutter.

In short: Get rid of stuff you don’t need. Duplicates, things you haven’t used in a year, gifts you never liked, light up yo-yos (actually, you might want to keep those)... Clearing out your physical space does wonders for clearing your mental space. And that gives you even more physical energy to pursue the things you love.

4. Plan ahead.

Going to the store? Bring a reusable bag. Going for a hike? Bring a water bottle. Think about what you need before you take off and you’ll be less likely to buy junk last minute. 

5. Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.

It’s amazing how creative you can be when you’re thoughtful about not buying things you really don’t need. From killer new wardrobe combos to tasty dinners — you probably already have what you need to live it up without another trip to the store. 

6. Be prepared.

It can be easy to fall back into your zombie shopping ways when you’re stressed, hungry, or generally overwhelmed by life. (Been there. Lots of times.) Set up your space so you can find things quickly and easily — instead of buying duplicates. Shop with a list. Store reusable bags in the car. Stuff like that is easy and totally doable.

7. Less is more.

Tons of what we buy comes in packaging that goes directly into the trash and then a landfill where it will outlive you by approximately a bajillion years. Try to shop for groceries from places where you can buy in bulk, or rock re-usable and recyclable containers. Opt for paper, not plastic. Buy quality, not quantity. Buy used when you can. 

8. Live it up.

When you crave less and un-zombified your shopping habits, you’ll have wayyyyyy more time to do what you love. Pretty neat, eh? Just watch out for coupons, commercials and other zombie shoppers — it can be easy to get sucked back in!