Moving Away From Materialism
Author: Olivia - F&F Date Posted:26 June 2019
Every day we're bombarded with advertisements everywhere we look, telling us that we won't be happy unless we buy this new product or that new gadget. Some people spend their whole lives chasing the idea that more stuff = increased happiness.
Living with less can be liberating for yourself, your finances and your future happiness. Moving away from materialism is a process that begins with the realisation that your worth isn’t tied to your possessions. Happiness studies have shown us time and time again that experiences and relationships matter more in the long run than the things we own!
Here at Flora & Fauna, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and live intentionally with the choices that we make every day. None of us are perfect – in fact, nobody is! So, we’ve put together this blog post to inspire you to take the step away from materialism and start living a more meaningful life; a life where possessions and material wealth don't dictate your happiness.
Start living with less
Why should you move away from materialism and start living a simpler life with less?
For your self-identity and overall happiness: Your identity isn’t what you wear, consume or own. It’s what makes you, you – it’s your ambitions, hobbies, principles, skills, and experiences in life.
Living with less means you can focus on the more important things in life; like serving others, mastering a hobby, fostering new relationships, developing skills, creating awareness for social and environmental issues, and ultimately, figuring out who you are without the possessions.
To escape the materialism trap: It’s been well-documented that material possessions and wealth can provide happiness when it helps to bring people out of poverty. However, once all of our basic needs are met, buying possessions does not lead to more happiness.
To take control of your finances: Having a rough day? Look anywhere: TV, billboards, social media – and it’ll tell you to do one thing: spend your money. The next time that you're faced with this dilemma, work out why you want to go on a shopping spree or completely redecorate your house. Is there a source of stress that is unaddressed in your life?
To use fewer resources: Buying less and buying good quality items that will last is a more sustainable way of living. Purchasing less clothing, furniture and goods mean fewer resources are used and there's less accumulated waste. Can you imagine if everybody simply purchased less stuff?
So what next?
You’ve decided that you want to start living with less – here are some simple, practical tips to get you started on your journey!
Make, thrift, swap, borrow or use what you have
Ever seen The Buyerarchy of Needs? It’s a great visual resource (and a little play on Maslow's Hierarchy of needs) created by Sarah Lazarovic to demonstrate how we really have a few more choices to make when we need something. Essentially, the last thing you should do is purchase a new item.
If you do choose to purchase something new, for example, a coat for the winter or some new workout gear, spend a bit of time researching different ethical brands. Who Made My Clothes? is a great resource to learn about the sustainable brands we stock in our ethical fashion section. Not only will you be making a buying choice that's better for the environment, but these sustainable brands also use better quality fabrics and craftsmanship, so your goods will last longer too.
Also, implementing reusable items into your everyday routine will avoid any unnecessary purchases. Like a reusable water bottle - in most major cities you can find free drinking water stations, and most cafes should let you fill up your water from their tap. You can shop our on the go reusables here.
Decluttering is essential, but before you do a complete Marie Kondo, throwing a whole heap of useful stuff in the trash isn't the way to go. Instead:
- Give away items to friends or family members who need them.
- Sell items if you’re short of money.
- Donate clothes/blankets to local aid programs, homeless shelters or animal shelters.
- Donate items to bigger charity stores or second-hand op shops.
- Here are some different ways to donate your stuff and support a meaningful cause.
We want to clarify – moving away from materialism doesn't mean you can't purchase anything, or does it mean you have to throw out everything you currently own! We need to make considered purchases; buy things that maintain a good standard of living. It’s all about making better choices with your money to support ethical businesses and living within your means.