In this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements whose sole purpose is to get us to believe that we need more material possessions. These ads are misleading but highly effective. They are leading us to consume at a rate that is both unreasonable and alarming. This is especially true during the holiday season. Despite the social pressure to have ‘more‘, it is possible to become a conscientious consumer. In this post, I share four tips that have helped me buy less and feel much better about my purchases.
Is the Product Cruelty-Free and/or Ethical?
Most often, the answer to this question will be “no“. While it may be a bit discouraging at first, it is such an amazing eye-opening experience. This question alone has led me to significantly reduce my purchases throughout the past year. No matter how appealing an item may be, none of its feature can make me ignore the fact that an innocent animal or person was wronged in the process of making that product. Evidently, brands don’t want you to know that the manufacturing process involved animal testing or labour exploitation. This is precisely why we need to educate ourselves on the matter and become more conscientious consumers. It does take a bit of work at first, but it is sooo worth it! And I’m here to help. You can always feel free to send me any questions you may have – if I don’t have the answer, I will try to find it!
Do you Need it?
Again, most of the time, the answer to this question will be “no“. On an existential level, we do not need most of the items we purchase. Even though we know this, it can still be tempting. We all buy items that we do not truly need, but that we want. And that’s okay – I’m not trying to say that you should never buy something unless you truly need it. But this question is still important because it forces you to consider whether you are being sucked into a purchase or whether you will effectively use the item to its full potential. This is also an important question when you are purchasing gifts for others. You may have a great gift idea but consider whether the receiver will truly use it.
There are so many great sales during the holidays that it is especially easy to get sucked into purchasing something that you might not really need or want. I think one of the best ways to avoid this is to plan your purchases ahead of time. Consider what you really want to buy for your loved ones and for yourself and stick to your plan. When planning ahead, it will also be easier to determine if the item is cruelty-free/ethical and if you truly need/want it. This will result in less money wasted and less unused items finding their way to the trash after the holidays. It’s a win-win for your wallet and for the planet!
Adopt a “Less is More” Approach
We all know that having more material possessions will not make us happier. In fact, having too much actually gives me anxiety. And wasting things makes me feel guilty. So, in order to avoid guilt-ridden anxiety, I try to adopt a “less is more” approach. This can mean different things for different people. But for me, it essentially means: (1) buying less and (2) using up what I have.
What do you think of these four considerations? Do you have any other tips to buy less during the holidays? Share them with us in the comments below!
Sneak peek: In next week’s post, I will share a list of cruelty-free Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. I will attempt to post it as early as possible. So, if you do want to take advantage of some of these sales, you can plan your purchases ahead of time. 🙂