Seven Little Resolutions to Save the World in 2017- #6

by - Monday, January 02, 2017

Aren't you sick of resolving to get skinny as a New Year's resolution? You always look great, friend. Instead, why not pick a resolution that will help our poor planet. It had a rough 2016 too. 

You can pick a resolution that is way easier than losing 15 pounds (and you still get to eat cake). These resolutions will save you money, make your life better, and as a teensy bonus, they are going to help save the Earth. And none of them take all that much effort. 

Miss #7? Check it out here. On to number 6!

Adventures in Athens

6. Do More, Buy Less

Darling, let's be adventurers, not bargain shoppers.

Let this be the year that you spend more time (and money) accomplishing goals and making memories. It's time for us to realize our shopping doesn't give us what we want, it keeps us from it.

We get a constant stream of the same old message. We don't have enough. We aren't enough. We look for deals so that we have extra dollars to get more stuff. We fantasize about abundance. We work and work so that we can buy more stuff. This is an old problem, but clearly we haven't solved it, because shopping hasn't slowed in America. If stuff is going to make us happy, shouldn't we all be elated already?

You can roll your eyes at me and think you need everything you buy. Maybe that's true, but the average American home has 300,000 items in it. Do I need 300,000 things? I am not sure, but when I think about that number, it makes me less anxious to buy something new.

This super-consumerism is now being linked to climate change (it makes sense, how much fossil fuel are we burning through when our stuff travels way more than we do?). It also is filling up landfills at an alarming rate. Worst of this? Textiles. Americans toss on average 65 lbs of textiles a year, and 11 million tons of textiles are tossed in the US this year. We have so much that we don't need or that quickly goes out of use or style (because it is cheap junk) that we are making epic mountains of garbage.

Materialism is a problem often discussed but much more difficult to solve. Much like overeating seems like an easy problem to offset (just stop eating), this actually is really complicated and requires us to step back from the basic routines that shape our lives. You have to know your own habits to know how to break them, so it really requires some self-awareness. These are just my best ideas of how to self-assess and to step out of the cycles we get stuck in.

Cancel your Cable- Stream away friends, but cable just bogs us down with an ever-growing list of things we "need." This is especially true for kids. Just abandon it.

Make Buying Things a Scheduled Thing- Rather than just picking things up here and there, pick a day (every other Tuesday, the first Saturday of the month, etc) and only buy then. You can keep a list, or put things in your checkout, but if the day comes and it isn't still important, skip it.

Cross Something Off your Bucket List- Start saving for that thing you want to do. Every time you don't buy something, put that money toward that dream. You can ask, over and over again, if that candy bar or extra mascara is more important to you than the big stuff. If you make the choice that simple, you stop spending money on things you actually don't care about.

Stay out of Walmart, Target, and the Like- These stores are also well-designed to "remind" you of things you need. If you need it, you would have thought of it.

Make a List, and Check it Twice- I am going to try this, because I think shopping lists might help me stick to what I actually need.

Gift Experience Presents- My motto this Christmas was "Presence not Presents" and I am going to try to keep it through the year. I am also setting new limits on gifts based on what worked in 2016- one birthday gift and three Christmas gifts.

Reuse what You Already Have- When you say "We need a new...", stop, and ask yourself if you can fix the original instead. This is especially true of clothes. Let go of trends and this idea that the perfect thing is out there.

Maybe you don't need a trick for cutting down your shopping, but it might help. Either way, buying less saves you money, time, and keeps things out of the landfills. Having more than you need isn't a sign of success, so let this be the year we truly prioritize quality over quantity.

To Go Even Bigger- Commit to a "No Buy" month. Only buy food for a month. By fasting from shopping and buying, you can reset your perception of what you need. It's a big leap, and it might make for a rough month, but you may come out the other end transform.

Oh Wait, there's more! Check out Number 5 here. 

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  1. My credit card shows me where my money is spent most, and I think this year I'm going to give up my amazon prime and delete the one-click app. There's no reason to make it easy, and Amazon is kind of like my Target in that way. Less stuff for 2017!



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