There are many areas where consumption can be reduced. Reducing the number of groceries purchased each week will help cut down on food waste and help you save money. According to a recent article by Oliver Milman for The Guardian, “Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day” (Milman, 2018). There are many times we overbuy because we are not certain what we will eat for the week or walk into the grocery store hangry, yes I said hangry. Also, don’t shy away from “ugly food.” It is easy to pick over all of the fruits and vegetables to find the perfect one, but in reality what is going to look like once it is prepared and cooked?
I have seen grocery store employees pick through and throw unpurchased produce due to imperfection or blemish. Show some love to the imperfections! Curbing the number of items we buy in general is another way to reduce consumption. My mother taught me at a young age to ask myself two simple questions, “Do you need it?” and “Do you want to spend your money on it.” Chances are the answer to both questions is no. But if you answered yes, then maybe check into buying a used version or repurposing an item to fit your need. Think about how much of your time and effort it took to earn that money and then ask yourself if what you want to buy is worth it. How many of us are caught in the consumerism cycle? Seeing something we want and mistaking it for a need? Never stopping to ask ourselves how much or will it bring value to our life. I talk about myself being deeply embedded in consumerism and overconsumption. I have way too many belongings. I don’t use most of them, be it a book, an electronic device, a kitchen tool or gadget, clothes, or even personal care products. I used to buy just because I have a deep seeded need for it and thought it fulfilled a part of me. But I have come to find out that I can live with so much less and be just as happy, if not happier.