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5 Ways Buying Less Helps You Live More

Black Friday is just around the corner. You’re filling up your paunch with plates of abundance. You’re fighting with your relatives over politics and your plant-based lifestyle. You’re watching Aunt Jemima cutting coupons for later that night: she’ll be fighting her way through the crowds to buy some precious 20 percent off maple syrup. What would happen if you didn’t have food to eat on Thanksgiving? If Aunt Jemima wasn’t going to shop on Black Friday? Here are five ways that deal with just that question! Read on if you wanna be a sage on how to buy less and live more!

1. It frees your mind.

Stressing about what you’re going to give Aunt Jemima, Large Marge, and Uncle Rico for whatever holiday you celebrate, or for their birthdays, is unproductive. If they really love you, material things like a 4-piece set of Tupperware don’t really matter. When you stop and ponder about why you care so much about a physical gift, you enter into a state of meditation, of consciousness. You’ll be more aware of how inane and environmentally unfriendly Uncle Rico is for selling Tupperware and realize you don’t need to buy his ware. It’s not that you don’t care about him! Smother that son-of-a-gun with hugs instead of Tupperware! Take him on a hike! Revisit nature together, and watch him badly throw a football over a ravine! Those memories mean more than just a machine-made plastic container. Trust me, Tina the lama would improve.

2. It develops closer relationships.

If your relationships with your family or friends are not based on whether you have the coolest phone or t-shirt, then congratulations, those are genuine! If your relationships are based upon material possession like money and gifts, then they aren’t authentic and you should reevaluate.  Money can’t buy love or a happy life. You see photographs of people that are destitute by societal standards, but the smiles on their faces speak volumes. They are happy without material possessions because in place of those possessions are closer bonds with human beings not plastic toys or paper bills.

3. It helps the environment.

Overconsumption at your Thanksgiving dinner table contributes to global warming (just kidding)! In all seriousness, though, you’re Black Friday shopping and consistent purchasing of useless containers to fit all your stuff in does negatively impact the environment. Forget about your need to be organized! Just think of the environment! Do without! Instead of buying crap, try and repurpose things you already have. Clean out that old bucket in the backyard, and see if it works. Use towels to wrap your presents in this holiday season instead of wrapping paper: my grandpa does it, and we all get a kick out of it! Whoever has a Merida towel, wrap my present in it! Well, forget the present, I’m all for saving the environment by consuming less (not food, mind you).

4. It widens your mind to focus in on more important things.

Material possessions–I’m talking about you, smart phone–are worthless in the grand scheme of life. What do they do for you other than make you worried about what your best buddy is posting on Facebook or if your significant other sent you an email? It’s not that important. People used to thrive without cell phones! You heard me, without cellphones. Gasp! When you take a stroll and listen to the serenity of nature, the birds chirping, the wind twirling through your hair, the gentle tap of your feet on the sidewalk, you’ll realize nature’s inherent beauty. You don’t need to turn on Louis Armstrong to realize that it’s a wonderful world, just listen; let nature speak to you. If you allow yourself to bask in the brilliance of silence, your mind will stop racing, and you won’t even want to check your phone. Materiality won’t matter so much to you if you go without it, and open your mind to silence.

5. It gets rid of excess clutter.

You only have so much room in your house for stuff. That’s what it is just nondescript, amorphous stuff! So why do you have all this stuff, all these things? Does it make you feel special? It shouldn’t. If there was a zombie apocalypse tomorrow, could you take that stuff with you while you’re running for your dear life? I don’t think so! Get rid of that stuff. Have some stuff in a backpack for emergencies, and have enough stuff to live comfortably (you don’t need 12 pairs of shoes, trust me). Without so much excess, you’ll be able to have more open space for people instead of things. You’ll be able to clean up your house easier, and with more manpower, that job can get done likety-split (just make sure the people you know don’t bring their excess stuff with them)!

Image Source: Craftist Collective/Flickr