Somewhere along the line, many of us started to get things wrong. We were wrong when we thought we needed to buy cheap + often. When we started shopping trendy instead of classic. When we'd throw out anything and everything, just to pop over to our local big box store to buy new. When we stopped looking at where our goods came from. When we stopped caring about how we spent our money. When we bought multiples of things because we forgot what we already owned.

Though I'm ashamed to admit it, I'm guilty of all of those things, but I'm proud to admit that those days are long gone. Committing myself to getting it together, setting priorities and following through is what my life is about. This year, I'm making a commitment to changing my life, my perspective, and am determined to redefine my "norm", starting with three big steps in the right direction.

1. Buy less. I am an ex-shopaholic. I loved to buy stuff. Any stuff. I thrived in the fluorescent din of the mall, loved the smell of new. It is a sickness, seriously. I've been guilty of loving some brand new article of clothing, washing it, wearing it, and not liking the way it looked without that freshness of new...and never wearing it again. After nearly two years of choosing to buy less (and I mean next to nothing), I find that I don't have the same relationship with 'stuff' as I used to. I simply don't need it like I used to. I don't need much of anything, actually. Forcing myself to get creative with what I already own, repurposing, getting crafty with the sewing machine...all of these things have helped me rid me of the insatiable need for new.

2. Buy consciously. Part of the growing process of becoming a conscious consumer is to take ownership of the purchasing process. When I do buy things, I try to do so with eyes wide open. Look at where the items you make are coming from. More often than not, they come from Asia. Any idea how it's produced? By whom? Of what is it made? What kind of carbon footprint did it make just to be imported? I'm not saying that buying items produced overseas is a horrible thing (though is sure as hell isn't doing much for our own economy.) All I am saying is that we all need to take ownership of every purchasing choice and commit to learning the true cost of the products we buy. That level of awareness is vital to our future. Ignorance is not bliss.

3. Buy wisely. With resources like Etsy at our fingertips, there's no excuse to not buy and support independent designers, crafters, and handmade artisans. Whether you're looking for natural baby rattles, earth-friendly clothing, reusable dish scrubbies, or organic handmade soaps, take the time to look for a handmade, small -scale, and preferably local source. It's a win-win for us all.

I hope you'll consider the impact your purchasing decisions have in both the short- and long-term. If you aren't doing these three things, why not? What barriers or obstacles do you feel are preventing you from making these changes?


Mrs. B said...

Well written!

I for one need to downsize soon. I know it and it nags at me daily. I hope to find the drive and energy and focus and committment to do so very soon.

Thank you for your constant well written articles helping many be aware of excess.

Your articles are always good for the earth and good for the soul.

Diana Mieczan said...

I am guilty too, but I am trying very hard to change!
I have to try harder with buying consciously....It is so true that ignorance is not bliss!
Ohh..I love your posts so much. I always look forward to them!
Have a wonderful afternoon my friend and thanks so much for making us all aware!

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