Disclaimer: I am not, nor pretend to be formally educated in psychology.
As humans, we’re hardwired to want more, to keep up with the latest and greatest. Which is why those cash advance and loan businesses manage to be so popular. (Seriously, there’s three within two kilometres of each other where I live!)
But this post isn’t about how in debt many consumers are, it’s about our need for things.
The Crutch of Consumerism
Our problem with the Plight of Plastic and struggles with Going Zero Waste begin with our need of things. I’ve accepted that I will probably never live a Zero Waste lifestyle, I’ll remain low-waste at best. For a Beauty Blogger I think I’m doing pretty darn well… I only own six eyeshadow palettes!
However, we cannot escape our want of things. Not when advertisements continually shove the latest and greatest into our face or when companies release their newest gadget and release software to slow down their older technology. You know who I’m talking about.
How is this related to going Zero Waste?
Quite simply, if we cannot stop the cycle of buying things we don’t need we will never achieve zero waste. That’s it and I bet you already knew that.
But it’s much easier said than done. Especially as a beauty blogger; the whole point is to continually review new products－I’m striving for something I will never personally achieve.
Things bring us momentary happiness
Whether we realize it or not, when we click that “buy” button we’re giving ourselves a temporary rush of happiness. Unfortunately, in many cases it only lasts for a short while.
Happiness does not lie within the newest Iphone, or that red lipstick.
Nor are we ever going to be happy 100% of the time, in fact, more of than not we’re simply not happy. It doesn’t mean we’re sad necessarily, but just going through the motions. That’s life.
If people didn’t buy things then our economy would collapse, so that’s kind of a problem, isn’t it?
We need to keep buying things in order for companies to keep making money, to keep having jobs, to keep getting a paycheque, to keep spending more money.
I don’t want to get into economy and finance because, quite honestly, I know jack-squat about that. What I do know is, we vote with our money. Where you put your money matters.
We need to be aware of where our money is going
I’m not saying to stop buying things all together because that would be extremely hypocritical of me. But it is important to ensure that you are supporting companies that you believe in; whether it be sustainably, ethically, etc.
Maybe it is controversial to say that in order to live a zero-waste lifestyle, or attempt to, you should spend money…
But those sustainably packaged, eco-friendly brands need your support. They may cost more money but in the end they are the ones making the difference.
Many of us are hardwired to spend. So if you’re going to spend, spend wisely.
If you feel like that lipstick will bring you some form of momentary happiness, who am I to say don’t buy it? I’m not your bank account… But make sure it’s something you believe in. Not just to keep up with the joneses.
Rules I personally live by
The key is to analyze your purchases. Don’t buy simply because it’s on sale. Do your research. Give yourself some time and fully think it through. Learn about the company.
For instance, I’ve been eyeing up the Fitglow Lip Colour Serum shades “Buff” and “Root.” I already know I love their formula, the price-point is rather high but I don’t have those shades and they’re limited edition. So here’s a look at the questions I would ask myself before purchasing:
Do I need these?
How often would I actually wear it?
How will this benefit me in the long term?
Do I like the brand? Or do I just want it because it seems like everyone else has it?
Is the packaging eco-friendly or fully recyclable?
Then, I put the product on a wish list for a month to think it over… Usually. (I bought the Aether Beauty Palette after two weeks of wanting it.)
Every purchase is an investment into a company. put your money into what you want to support.
Zero Waste doesn’t mean just not buying anything, but buying wisely (eco-friendly, recyclable or re-usable packaging.) Even if you aren’t on a low-waste journey you can employ these techniques to save you money and support what you believe in.
Are you an impulse shopper?