Tips for consuming less

We consume an enormous amount of things today and it’s so easy to buy things – there are shops all around and online you can easily buy things with just a click. Most of the things we buy we don’t actually need and often we end up just leaving them unused. This is a habit we all need to change, mainly for the sake of the planet, but also for our own health.

I found an “anti-consumption check-list” written in one of my notebooks, and I wanted to share it with you. I know I copied this one from a book or something, but I hadn’t written down the source. Anyways, the original is in Swedish, so this is a free translation with a little changes because I just don’t want to write everything.

When you want to buy something, think about these things first:

1. Do I really have time for this?
Consumption is often time-consuming, and most often you have something better to do with your time.

2. Do I really need this?
Often we think we need something that we actually would be able to do without. When you get the first impulse to buy something, count to ten in your head and then think again if you actually need it.

3. Can it be fixed, borrowed or rented?
Maybe what you would need can be borrowed or rented (books, music, games for example).

4. Can it be found or bought second-hand?
Try finding what you want at a second-hand store. You can also check what other people are throwing away, often there are fully usable things (like furniture for example) in garbage rooms.

5. Is there an organic alternative?
If you really have to buy something, buy fair trade, organic and/or energy-efficient things. If you buy things of good quality they last for many years and you don’t have to constantly buy new ones.

Also remember to not throw things you no longer want in the garbage if they are still usable, trying selling them, giving them to friends or to charity/second-hand stores!