Consumerism is the modern way, yet it has its dark side. Whilst it has led to rapid economic growth and paved the way for cheap availability of products, there has also been a race to the bottom in terms of less quality, planned obsolescence of products and a significant impact to the environment. There is now a movement were more and more people are recognising the perils of consumerism and are looking for a different and more ethical way to live a simpler and more fulfilling life. This life may be simpler in terms of ‘stuff’ but richer in relation to relationships, experiences and memories to cherish.
I have known for sometime that I wanted to ‘live lighter’ and indeed I have made a few changes and certainly bought a lot less of certain things over the last year. Today, I have realised I want to do more, much more; and join that growing band of people, that want to do their own small part, and to change the way they do things. It may be a little daunting but it is also going to be an adventure! The question is almost where do you start, there is so much that can be thought about.
I do feel quite inspired by the above quote. This is an old quote, back from the time when many resources were in scant supply. I think it would make a good set of rules to start from in a journey to a simpler life.
I added an extra verse to cover some extra principles I would like to work towards:
That is because one of the areas in my life that does need tackling is the ongoing fight against excess of current stuff. I’d like to sell, rehome and donate more. This is perhaps about becoming more minimalist and being happy with less. Then on turning the tide on the things coming in. As surely one way to live a simpler and less resource intense life is to buy less things to begin with.
If I am making a new purchase I want to be more mindful about how I do this, and become a more conscious consumer, that is led less by the power of the brand. I want to buy things that are higher quality and built to last. Or, alternatively to look for second hand options that will have less impact on the environment (and also our finances!). The ‘bring your own’ relates to wanting to reduce waste particularly plastic within our life. This may mean taking your own containers and bags to the shops.
I have joined a couple of zero waste Facebook groups in the last few weeks and have found it so amazing seeing the steps people have already taken. Today, I posted and asked for resources, such as books, blogs and tv shows that could be used for practical advice. I’ve not heard too much as of yet but think finding a good set of resources to provide inspiration will help inform what to do and in what order.
Ultimately, as Aristotle said, ‘You are what you repeatedly do.’ As such, let’s hope all the tiny steps that can be taken along the way could get us somewhere fantastic for the future.