Conscious Consumption is simply being truly mindful of every purchase you make. For most of us, our earlier years forced us to be mindful of everything we bought because we had to justify it to our parents or because of a limited budget. As we became more successful and made more money, we found that we could spend more freely and more frequently. Unfortunately this often led to less mindful consumption. We figured that if we could afford it, then that was all that mattered. Clearly, there is much more to the problem.
What about the environmental impact of buying unnecessary goods? Where do these goods go after we decide they are not bringing us function or joy? In the past, these items were most likely donated to the poor and that made us feel better about our mindless purchases. Today however, there are so many “donations” that even the charities we give to have no use for some of our discards. Have you stepped into your local Goodwill lately? Your well-intentioned donation may be causing a burden rather than a help. You aren’t the only one giving away your excess items!
Furthermore, how are we storing all these frivolous purchases? Do you need additional storage to “hold” your things? If you have remote storage, that begs the question of whether or not you should even be holding on to them. Renting storage units is a fairly recent concept and probably the result of our current generations over buying. What about all the organizational systems available today? Yes, it’s great to be organized but let’s only organize what we need. If we gave our spending a little more thought, maybe we wouldn’t have the need to organize and store all our excess belongings. Think about it! You are spending on useless goods and then spending more to organize and store these useless goods. What’s wrong with this picture?
Concious consumption will also add to the quality of your life. If you are only buying goods that you love or need, your home will be free of clutter. How can you enjoy your beautiful things when they are buried under a mountain of excess beautiful things? It’s the mindless purchases that fill your spaces with dust collectors and create a space that feels chaotic. If your home is filled with unnecessary clutter, you will live less efficiently. How long does it take to find something in an over crowded closet or drawer? And what is crowding that closet or drawer? Necessities? Probably not all of it!
The solution is simple – stop buying mindlessly! ONLY buy what you need or love!
About the author.....
Joanne Takemoto is a Project Consultant and Interior Designer in the Los Angeles area. Her unique approach to design includes "re-using" and "re-purposing" the client's existing items and giving them a fresh new look and/or new role whenever possible and practical. She also encourages her clients to only purchase what they "need" or "love" and to exercise discipline in the process of purchasing decorative items. The result is a beautiful, functional and clutter-free environment!