The newness of spring is my favorite cliché. I love using it as a fresh start and I think it’s so much more promising than New Years resolutions. There are flowers blooming, and summer plans in fruition. It’s always felt a little magical to me and I believe it’s the perfect opportunity for a deep cleanse.
I’ve never had issues reducing my stuff. I like my area clutter free and as simple as possible. Spring comes and I’m donating or selling my clothes, recycling old gadgets, and giving my books away.
But why am I doing this every year?
If my aim was to simplify, why do I spend the rest of the year replacing what I’ve rid myself of?
I’ve been practicing a mostly zero waste lifestyle for the past two years. I’ve replaced most of my single use plastic products with sustainable earth friendly alternatives. I shop completely package free, using cloth bags and buying in bulk. I carry a water bottle, mason jar, stainless steel straw, bamboo utensils, and a spare bag wherever I go.
But it was only recently that I started noticing my shopping habits.
If something broke, I wasted no time to replace it, often brand new. I was quick to invest in a new outfit for a special occasion. I never questioned if the purchase was necessary, I felt weak in the moment, and didn’t connect my actions with the bigger picture.
I was an active participant in our consumerist society and was afraid to stop and question it.
This past month, I challenged myself to break free from “stuff,” and not buy anything new for a year. I was inspired by the Story of Stuff as well as Rob Greenfield who encourages me through his work and writing to live better.
In 2012, I worked on a farm in Costa Rica. The owner, Tristan, and his wife lived in a tent on top of their mountain for a year while she was pregnant. Tristan told me, “The more you have, the less you see.”
Sometimes, it takes a long time for messages to resonate with you. This one is just now settling in my heart.
I’m hoping within the next year, I’ll be able to re-evaluate what I need, save money, continue to cut down my waste, and minimize what I already have.
- Nothing new! If absolutely needed, buy used. Find it at Goodwill, on Craigslist, or make it yourself! (This doesn’t include food!)
- I try not to eat out, simply to save money and keeps me more aware of what I put in my body. Hit a market and have a picnic. It’s spring!!
- No gifts please! I’m not only trying to save money, but reduce the overall stuff I have. When giving gifts, find some DIY ideas on Pinterest! Everyone loves something homemade.
- Finally, just to be aware of what brings true joy into my life and forget the rest.
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