One of the main factors causing environmental pollution is the high level of consumerism. Various studies show that the consumptive lifestyle has contributed to the large carbon footprint on this earth. State of Planet stated that the purchase of household products and services even contributes to 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Therefore, tackling climate change and environmental pollution is not only by reducing the use of plastic. Switching to a minimalist lifestyle and stop being a consumptive human being can be an effective way as well.
If you are already trapped in consumerism, there is no need to worry. There are several ways that can be done to escape the bondage of consumerism.
Recognize the Symptoms of Consumerism
Consumerism can be said to have been initially triggered by the state’s efforts to restore the slumped economy. This has happened after World War II, when residents were encouraged to spend more on daily necessities. This also has the effect of increasing demand followed by high production.
This condition then causes more and more producers to appear. Trying to sell their products through various marketing strategies, especially through advertising. In this way, the level of consumerism in society is even higher. Most people no longer shop because they need to, but also for other reasons, such as wanting to follow trends or as a sign of social status.
You have been caught in the trap of consumerism when you experience the following symptoms:
- Buy more than you need.
- You lack space to place your buying products.
- Unconsciously buying things you already have.
- Always looking for approval to buy a product.
- Purchase non-essential items on credit.
- Regret after shopping.
- Hide your purchase.
- Often spend more than budget
If you experience more than 3 of the symptoms above, it means that you must immediately break away from consumerism.
Ways to Escape from Consumerism
Consumerism is related to a person’s psychological condition, so it is not easy to break away from its bondage. However, there are several ways you can follow, including:
- Make the Purchase Process Inconvenient
When shopping for a product, be a considerate consumer. Include various conditions, such as whether the product is durable, environmentally friendly, and most importantly really needed or not. By including many conditions, you will narrow your choices and the shopping process will tend to be tedious.
Apart from that, you can also delete a number of online shopping apps and keep only the one or two that you really need. If you want a more “extreme” way, you can live in a location where shopping is difficult to access or deactivate your credit card.
- Avoid Going to Mal
This doesn’t mean you can’t go to the mall at all, but reduce the frequency. The mall can be a trigger for you to buy something you don’t need. Make it a habit to go to the mall when there are very important items for you to buy. Avoid shop-hopping so you won’t buy things you don’t need.
If you can reduce the frequency of going to the mall, you are a little more successful in getting away from consumerism.
- Reduce Shopping Time
Shopping is something exciting and fun. But, it will be a problem if the time spent on shopping is too long. Therefore, reduce your shopping time in half and replace it with a hobby or other activity.
To understand how much time you spend on shopping, review all the items you’ve bought in the last month (excluding daily necessities). Then, estimate how long it will take you to make the purchase process, starting from online and offline research.
Do this for at least 6 months. By tracking the time you spend on shopping, you will be able to reduce it and replace it with other activities.
- Treat Your Items as Inventory
Start by getting rid of things you no longer need. In this case, you can use the Marie Kondo method. You can place the remaining items on special shelves, according to their type and needs. Make sure the shelves you have are sufficient to accommodate all of the items, without any empty space.
This is so that you can treat the items on the shelves like inventory. When the shelves are still full, there is no need for new purchases. When you want to buy a new one, there has to be an empty space on the shelf which means getting rid of the existing product.
By doing the things above, it is hoped that you can get out of the trap of consumerism. Let’s together protect this earth for more equitable access to natural resources in the future.