In our pursuit of happiness, we tend to spend more on things that aren’t necessities. Whenever we received our salary, commissions or bonus at work, most of us choose to go shopping or treat ourselves to movie, spa or dinner or to buy new gadgets. According to some economists, the best indicator of a healthy society is the level of happiness of the citizens.
Apparently, allocation of resources such money is a serious issue due to a logical assumption that spending our money in purchasing items or products will make us happier compared when using it for a vacation. Likewise, we are most probably to buy new personal stuff or household materials instead of reducing it.
We won’t argue on how you should spend your hard-earned money, but we just want you to think long and hard if “should I buy this one?” It could mean a lot of reduction. From the foods we eat to the makeup, clothes, toys and kitchen wares we buy to the quantity of cleaning supplies we are using, we should be asking the same question.
Reducing what we are Buying
Recycling isn’t just sufficient to help the environment. We have to reduce, reuse and upcycle things. Remember, everything that we purchase, whether they are essential commodities or commercial products comes in packaging materials such as plastics, Styrofoam or cardboard boxes. All these are consuming raw materials and resources.
While these materials are subject to recycling process, they still have a waste footprint. And the reprocessing itself requires using another set of raw materials and natural resources. The cycle goes on. Meanwhile, recycled cardboard, aluminum, glass, and plastic were being sold for less, but the cost of processing these materials stay the same.
Why consuming less has a sense of undercurrent of resistance? It is only because of our shared habit of buying new things or products instead of using reusable or secondhand items. We believe that unless we understand our reasons for buying so many things, we will never actually realize that we have more than enough of it.
Moreover, we should be able to understand why these things keep coming to our doorsteps so we can efficiently organize and curate it. Most of the houses are overflowing with kinds of stuff, so we are not buying a thing to fill some space. We have various debts or loans to pay, so we don’t buy things just to burn money. Hence, the next time we are in a grocery store or a fashion stall, ask yourself again.
Life satisfaction and happiness still come to experiences that we shared with other people. We all should enjoy the fruit of our labor, but it should not be at the expense of nature.