Stuff. Where do we put it? When are we going to use that again? Where does it go when we no longer need it? Take a look to your left, and another to your right and check out how much stuff surrounds us, most of which we probably could do without. Buying less stuff means less clutter in your life and in the landfills, using fewer resources, and more money in your pocket; and who doesn’t want that?
1. Reuse. There’s no reason (or excuse!) to use single-use disposables when there are so many amazing reusable solutions available today. Spending a little more upfront on high quality, long lasting products (yes, these still exist) will show you continuous savings over time, both in your wallet and our precious resources.
2. Swap. Attend (or organize) a clothes swap party, check out books from the local library, and why not borrow your friend’s tent for your camping trip, and then lend them something they need in return?
3. Repair. We really don’t need to replace everything as soon as it breaks. Save your hard earned dollars and put a little elbow grease into it. Come on, you know you can find an instructional video on YouTube for it. (How clever is this method of getting something repaired?)
4. Upcycle. Take the labels off of glass food jars for quick and easy flower vases. Make a quilt for your kids out of their old t-shirts. When you start to look at “waste” through a different lens, there are so many possibilities to give it new life. Plus, you’ll have something totally unique. Win, win.
5. Plan. Make a list of what you need to buy before you leave the house, and stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted by shiny new stuff, or let a salesperson convince you that you need the latest version of so-an-so. But going into a store with a premeditated plan will help you pass by the impulse purchases, and ultimately, buy less stuff. (And remember to only go to a farmers’ market hungry – never to a “super” market!)
Remember, the best things in life really are free.