‘The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.' - Bryant H. McGill
Why we consume.
There are three theoretical approaches to consumer motivation; Utilitarian, Social and Psychological, and Infrastructures of Provision. (Seyfang, 2009:8) Basically, we consume because we need it or (the main issue) because it makes us feel good and/or connected in some way. Her research goes on to explain that we often suffer form what’s called the ‘value-action gap’, which shows that educated consumers do not always make choices that align with their stated values. (Seyfang, 2009:11)
That’s why so many people who are educated on the environmental impact of hyper-consumption have yet to make a meaningful change in their personal lives.
The latest isn’t always the greatest. Quality not quantity is the name of the game. It makes a difference where you shop, what you purchase, and how happy you are with the results. We’ve all been there. How did I end up with the wrong brand/type ‘insert food item’ in my cart. How did I not notice the small hole or the crappy seam on this shirt? Why didn’t I realize I already had 3 of these? Why am I throwing away unused produce, again? Why can’t I ever seem to find enough money to go on vacation?
When you seek to live more mindfully, you start to become more and more aware of how and why’s of your consumption habits. When you choose to consciously consume, you’re mentally asking yourself questions like, ‘Do I have something else that would work the same as this?’, ‘Could I repurpose something I already own?’, ‘Could I borrow this from a friend?’, ‘How many times will I wear this?’, ‘Where was this made?’, ‘Who made it?’, ‘Will it last?’
When you decide to be more thoughtful about what consume you’re more likely to love what you buy (or borrow) and more likely to keep it for longer, which ends up being so much better for you and the environment. You’ll have more time to focus on the things that make you happy, you’ll spend less money, you’ll spend less time having to clean and organize your stuff because you’ve already paired down to the essentials. You’ll have the mental clarity to make better choices for your mental and physical health.
8 Tips to CONSCIOUSLY CONSUME
2. Use what you have.
2. Upcycle or revamp items you already have.
4. Shop with a List.
5. Buy Used or Vintage first.
6. Buy Quality, Locally, and Ethically.