Are you guilty of making rash purchases and regretting it later? Do you regularly look at your bank account and wonder where your money went? Learning to live a simpler life has a range of benefits, not least keeping cash in your pocket! If you want to do your bit for the planet at the same time, learn how to shop smart. In Zero Waste Home, bestselling author, Bea Johnson, shows you how.
Let’s be honest: everyone loves shopping, right?
The rush you get when you hand over your card, swipe it, and it’s accepted. They give you a bag containing your new purchase, and you can’t wait to get home to try it out. It’s no surprise that shopping addiction is one of the most common ones in today’s world.
The problem is, the more you shop, the more you spend, and all that packaging does nothing for the planet. You’ve no doubt heard about the ridiculous amount of plastic waste currently cluttering up the Pacific Ocean. Unless we do something about this problem right now, we’re about to face an incredibly dangerous epidemic in the not too distant future.
The answer? Learn how you can do your part for the planet by shopping smart while still enjoying the rush of purchasing something shiny and new.
Think sales and promotions are too good to be true? They are!
Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year. It is the day when everyone goes crazy about retail therapy and grabs a million bargains.
“We all yearn to save time, at any cost (including the environment), so we buy into time-saving tricks that marketing campaigns promise. But who is disposability really benefiting in the end?” —
The thing is if you didn’t intend to buy something in the first place, is it a bargain? When you think about it, you’ve spent more money than you needed because the item you’ve purchased wasn’t on your wish list or “need to buy” list to begin with!
Perhaps the answer is to wait until big shopping days, such as Black Friday or the New Year sales, to purchase the big things you want. In this way, you can save quite a large amount of cash with the discount, and you’re not buying something you didn’t need. It is an excellent example of sensible, planned, well thought out shopping.
Perhaps you need a new vacuum cleaner because your old one is starting to work less effectively. Rather than heading out and buying one straight away, wait until Black Friday. You will have a chance to purchase a cut priced version, possibly even allowing you to upgrade to a better model for less!
However, always keep in mind marketing can be the devil when it comes to unnecessary purchases. You’ll see beautiful images, models, and promises made on the packaging, but at the end of the day, if you don’t need it, it’s not a bargain at all!
“Electronics: Spend money on upgrading your system instead of buying a new one” —
Living in a sustainable and environmentally-aware way means making careful purchases. Zero Waste Home teaches us that we can still have what we need, but we need to make sure we know the difference between want and need. You might want the latest iPhone, but in reality, you don’t need it.
7 ways to enjoy shopping and support the recovery of the planet
There is no reason why you have to stop shopping, but it merely means you need to go about the whole task in a slightly different way. By doing this, you’ll cut down on unnecessary purchases, save money, and cut down on the amount of excess packaging you’re responsible for.
1. When you plan to go to the shopping mall, do so with a clear head. It will help you make sensible choices and avoid over-buying. For instance, don’t go shopping if you’re emotional because of a breakup, etc. You’ll only see a new outfit that clever marketing ploys convince you to make you feel better — it won’t.
2. Make a list before you go shopping for the things you need to buy. Wandering between the aisles will only lead to impulse purchases!
3. Identify the amount of money you want to spend and take that amount in cash. Avoid using your card; it’s hard to keep track of your spending when you’re using plastic.
4. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. It is the fast track way to purchasing a million sugary snacks you don’t need.
5. If you see something you want to buy, walk away and have a coffee somewhere. By doing this, you’re taking away the impulse element. You might decide mid-coffee that you don’t need that item, therefore saving cash.
6. Don’t go shopping with someone slow to make decisions. It might lead you to lose control of your spending on impulse, and it’s not the most enjoyable way to shop!
7. When you see something you want to buy, ask yourself, “do I need this?”. By questioning your decision, you might talk yourself out of it.
Don’t be a slave to marketing
Shopping in a sustainable yet enjoyable way comes down to being aware of the tricks marketing plays on all of us. This is the single biggest reason for people buying more than they need.
When you streamline your purchasing habits, you not only save money and do your bit for the planet. You also allow the confidence benefits of minimalism to sneak into your life too. There is something strangely liberating about only having the things you need and avoiding the large-scale temptation of clever marketing ploys.
“When we took steps to simplify our lifestyle, we not only evaluated belongings and screen times, we also evaluated friendships. We identified and focused on those that brought positivity, happiness, and strength to our life and allowed the others to fade away” —
In “Zero Waste Home,” Bea Johnson teaches us that life isn’t about material goods, and we can find more profound happiness entirely within experiences. Sure, there’s no reason why shopping can’t be your experience of choice, but doing it mindfully at the very least. If you want to learn more tricks, check out the summary of “Zero Waste Home” in the Headway app.
Want to know more?
For further reading on zero waste, check out the summary of this bestseller.