Compare the price tags on organic, eco-friendly products next to ones that aren’t and you’re going to be disappointed. Most people are cost conscious, I was too until I understood my bad habits. But it isn’t just me struggling with my spending, everyone has debt. Everyone has bad habits. One thing that has majorly helped me is becoming more earth conscious.
There’s is one main cause for excessive spending… over consumption.
We have gotten stuck in a culture of convenience. This is something I know for sure, that you will begin to remember how things were done before our lives got better with convenience. I don’t consider it lazy, because we work with what we have and in western society, we are blessed to have so much. I do consider it lazy when you know you can make a change and you don’t because you don’t want to learn how to do things differently.
These are some changes that will happen when you keep the earth at top of mind.
1. You stop feeding the trash
Convenience items are entering the market every day: plastic bags, to go cups, even those little disposable floss picks. These enter and leave your life sometimes within minutes and is extremely wasteful. When you think before you toss, your trash will significantly decrease because you’re just spending less.
When you become more earth conscious, you will stop wasting money on anything that will be tossed immediately after one use. Your mindset will change, and questions will run through your brain like,”Can this be reused or repurposed?” If there is a reusable option, go for it! Spending $25 dollars today may save you $4 dollars a week for the rest of your life depending on what it is.
2. You start investing:
Every time you open you wallet to purchase an item, it should be an investment to your life. It should be something that will remain in your possession until the end of your time and/or provide great value to your life. When I bought my sandalwood comb, I thought about the purchase for a little while. I was thinking about who I would leave this to when I die. This helped me make sure my purchase was a real investment. This too, will happen to you.
You’re probably wondering why I thought so hard about an $11 dollar purchase of a comb. It is so easy to go to the dollar store and get a plastic comb, but that comb could break, and I might easily lose it. That adds one more plastic item to the closest landfill. I care about this item, and I’ll take more care of it because it was a thoughtful purchase.
3. You’ll begin blaming the earth
You’ll begin using the earth as the excuse to change habits. I have done this to stop myself from going shopping. While I am a fan of fashion, the energy it takes to produce fast fashion is so incredibly wasteful on this earth. From carbon emissions, to water pollution, fast fashion really doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to being earth conscious, so I decide not to give these companies my money.
As an alternative, I will buy things I need at secondhand stores. People throw away things that are in great shape. Sometimes I get lucky and find a Ralph Lauren jacket for $6 dollars. That actually happened at Consignment Originals in Manchester, CT.
You are going to save significantly by not spending and use it as a tool to become more aware of your purchases.
4. You’ll learn how to read and avoid labels
You buy less when you want less, and food packaging is created to persuade you to want something you don’t need. Being able to read the packaging and knowing what to believe and ignore really encourages you to make more thoughtful purchases. This will in turn help you reduce your impulses. Hardcore zero wasters won’t buy anything with a label.
I have a marketing degree, and I worked in marketing for 2 years. That is more than enough time to know the power in it, and while many companies are making strides towards honest marketing, the aisles of supermarkets are filled with misleading health information.
All of these changes to your though process will really help you save money. Narrowing down what you are willing to purchase is going to help you reduce your consumption. Again, I personally believe that to be the biggest cause for overspending. Putting the earth first can benefit more than the earth, it can teach you how to spend more thoughtfully.