An Almost Zero Waste Life: Learning How to Embrace Less to Live More
You’d probably be surprised to learn that the average home contains more than 300,000. items. It’s no wonder rental storage units have popped up all over, encouraging you to house, even more, junk—most of which you’ll never use.
According to the New York Times, rental storage has been the fastest-growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades.
Sadly, people continue to acquire things with no intention of letting go.
I believe shopping is a way to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. Shopping can be addictive. Maybe because it gives you a sense of immediate accomplishment and instant gratification. These feelings of instant gratification and accomplishment increase our feelings of pleasure, or in this case, our levels of the hormone dopamine, which leads us to continue to shop. Usually, you don’t buy what you need—you buy what makes you feel good.
Countless studies have shown that the more you own, the less happy you become.
Now, I am not telling you to purge everything from your closets. But I am suggesting that consumption can rule your life if it’s not kept in check.
The average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past fifty years.
You will always need to buy things, but you can enforce ways to avoid impulse shopping or buying unnecessary items here are some helpful tips.
Use what you have. You don’t always need to buy something new to do a job that could be done with something you already own. I find it’s helpful to give myself a mandatory “shop block.” When I think I need something, I wait thirty days before I buy it to see if I truly need it. Nine times out of ten, I can do without it.
Borrow what you need. Borrowing is like an elevated version of getting something secondhand. Just make sure you return it—and in good condition. If you can’t find something you need from someone you know, there are several community-wide apps that let you rent and borrow stuff from others.
Get in the habit of swapping: Zero Waste Life.
Bartering or swapping is a great way to get something you need, get rid of something you no longer use and avoid spending money. You can trade your goods and/or services for another person’s goods and/or services (think mowing your neighbor’s lawn in return for his free-range chicken eggs).
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