Five Ways to Waste Less
The degree to which our economy is built around consumption and waste is deeply problematic and depressing. The world is getting more efficient and instead of thinking about how we can work less and enjoy our lives more, the powers that be are focused on how we can make people buy more crap so that everyone can work as much as possible so that they can buy more crap. It's up to us to push back on a flawed system.
Be Mindful - Mindlessness is wastefulness. We think about our day in the shower while the water is flowing, we use plastic wrap because we don't want to reach for a mason jar, we forget our reusable bags in the car and it feels inconvenient to go all the way back to get them. We are so privileged that we can waste for the sake of convenience, our kids won't be so lucky. Give serious thought to the resources you're using and think of ways that you can cut back with intentionality and presence.
Fix it! Mend it! Repurpose it! - Because everything is made so cheaply in places halfway around the world, people are quick to buy something new the second something tears or breaks. The next time you have something that you’re thinking of chucking into a landfill forever, give a thought to whether it’s something you can fix or repurpose. I know this sounds corny but it can be fun! For me when things break, it’s a challenge to learn something new. There are about a bajillion YouTube videos about fixing or mending just about anything you can think of. I also recommend buying higher quality goods, maybe even goods that are made locally.
Build it! Find it! - I rarely buy things that I think I might be able to create myself. Sometimes things go completely sideways and I end up buying something new anyways, but at least I give it some thought and an attempt or two. Ask yourself "is this something I can make myself?" "Is it something someone else might be wanting to get rid of?" Most things you find at a thrift store or get as hand-me-downs are made way better than any garbage you could buy at Target. If you need tips on thrifting, Liz has you covered.
Spend Intentionally - It's easier than ever to make purchases and advertising spends billions breaking down our self worth until we feel empty enough that we need to make a purchase. The next time that your fingers are itching to cruise amazon, STOP! There's a strong likelihood that you don't actually need what you're about to buy. What's more likely, is that you're feeling itchy, lonely, wonky, frustrated or sad and whatever you buy will at most make you feel better for about 5 minutes. Go do some yoga, phone a friend, create something - but don't buy sh*t just to buy sh*t.
Compare Less - Keeping up with the Jones' has always been a thing, but now, with social media and a depressing obsession with increasingly outlandish material goods, people are spending less time being present for the important moments, the moments that don't cost anything, the moments when nobody else matters and you don't have to prove your happiness by posting it online. The only person who gets to be you is you, focus on your amazing existence, not on what kind of garbage you need to buy to be like someone else.
What are ways that you cut down on waste?