Guest Post by Angelita Williams
While I’m absolutely ecstatic that so many people are jumping on the “green” bandwagon, as evidenced by the growing number of blogs that deal specifically with green lifestyles, there is one bone I have to pick with the green establishment—and that’s the advocating of consumption, even though it’s supposedly “green” consumption. In my mind, the best that we can do for the environment is not to buy green, but to buy substantially less. Here are a few simple ways you can do just that.
1. Set aside one week a month in which you make absolutely no new purchases.
This is a fun challenge, one I thought I would never be able to do. It’s both easier and harder than I thought it would be. Before doing your monthly spending fast, stock up on groceries and other necessary items like gas. Then, just do your best to make do without spending money. Instead of buying a cup of coffee at the café next door to your workplace, bring coffee from home. If your gas tank won’t last a week, ration it carefully and take public transportation or carpool when you can. There are tons of other ways that you can avoid making new purchases. You just have to make it a priority.
2. Don’t buy new gadgets until your old ones are completely unusable.
Electronics are the one purchasing are in which most people, Americans especially, just cannot get enough. With the relatively new business idea of “planned obsolescence,” in order to increase profits, businesses will create products that aren’t built to last. This creates a sick cycle of constant consumption after the new release of essentially the same product every few months. Don’t buy into this scam. Keep your electronics as long as they will still work, and not a moment before.
3. Stay away especially from products produced by companies with large carbon footprints and unsustainable business practices.
If you are at all into green living, then you probably know the worst culprits when it comes to consumer businesses. Stay away from products from companies like Tyson Foods and McDonald’s. Here’s a good list to start, but do as much research as you can. You’d be surprised by how many huge, unsustainable corporations produce products that are only marketed as environmentally friendly.
4. Think before you buy anything.
Perhaps the very best piece of advice when it comes to reducing your consumption substantially is to be mindful about any and every purchase you make. Ask yourself, “Is this product absolutely necessary?” Will it add substantially to your level of happiness? Or is it just another impulse buy? When you begin cultivating this type of mindset, you’ll reduce your consumption without even trying too hard.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.