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How to consume less
How I did it: I wrote another How I did it story about being more frugal. So this story is not going to be about spending less money. It's about consuming less.
For me, consuming less = consuming consciously. This means that I try to shop and buy stuff in a more conscious and sustainable manner, and try to throw less stuff away.
Some of the things I did:
- refusing plastic bags in shops (I started carrying a bigger purse of my own)
- buying less prepackaged food (I try to go to the market instead)
- planning meals (I suck at this, but I try anyway) so that I didn't have to throw away food because that's an absolute waste and also a really decadent thing to do in a world where 1 billion people are living on less than a dollar a day
- reusing stuff, like plastic water bottles and plastic bags (the ones I accepted before starting this goal)
- recycling: I did especially well with separating glass and paper/cardboard from the rest of my waste
- buying consciously: I bought less useless stuff such as notebooks (I already have so many), stationary, trinkets, gadgets etc.
- getting organized: I went through boxes of stuff I'd accumulated over the years. Salvaged what could still be used, gave away the rest.
Undoubtedly there are more things I could be doing but I'm considering this goal: done.
Lessons & tips: If you really want to consume less, decide what matters to you and what is manageable for you. For me, I think throwing away food is about the most decadent thing we can do. Especially in a world where so many people are starving. That said, I am not eating food that has fungus on it or is past its sell-by date. Solution: buy less food! I now try to plan my meals and groceries to that I only buy food I will actually be eating. I'm still working on this but it gives me so much satisfaction to cook meals from leftovers!
Resources: Willpower, and some friends that are really into recycling and ecology.