Consumerism is the protection or promotion of consumer interests. It is also the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods. Everyone has material goods. That's the cycle. Its called 'The Buying Cycle', it's the awareness of needs that follows into awareness, interaction, purchase, engagement and advocacy. To live is to consume. But we are able to escape excessive consumerism, which many people find a subconscious addiction.
There are many reasons why we should escape consumerism which have practical benefits. These include:
Less time for caring
Less environmental impact
Less need for the upkeep of trends
Ability to see through empty claims
Greater realization of the world around us
Consumption is essential to economic growth since our demand for goods makes companies and businesses profitable, and provides jobs and employment. Adam Tooze surmised that we need to move to renewables or low-carbon energy sources. He continued to raise the point that we tiptoe around the consumption part of any strategy. Lower consumption results in lower carbon emissions.
Less is more?
Should we be going back to basics and becoming more minimalist? The minimalist lifestyle is where you live above your possessions and have only what you need and use. This doesn’t mean it has to be cheap, your possessions are probably better off being better quality and more expensive. It means that your possessions have a necessity to your life and you throw away what you don’t use or need. There are plenty of benefits to this lifestyle. It makes it easier to clean your space, save time and leads to saving money in the long run. You don’t have to do it all at once either, little steps can improve your lifestyle and can contribute to fewer carbon emissions. Some steps to start with could be not bargain hunting, just because the item is on sale doesn’t mean you need it. Another step would be not re-organizing but simply getting rid of stuff. If you didn’t need it for a while, why is it so important to keep it now? Make a wish list, this will stop you from spending money on material things in the spur of the moment. Do more with your money and save for trips and experiences rather than wasting your money on material goods. Keeping your space clean can help, you can focus on the more important things in life and cleaning can save so much time for you to do this.
To overcome consumerism there are plenty of steps to guide us. Firstly, we have to admit it is possible. Many people have been able to adopt a minimalist lifestyle that rejects consumerism. You can choose to adopt a traveler's mindset. When travelling you take what you need for your journey. Adopting this mindset provides the benefits of being more flexible and having less to do. Ignore advertisement. Becoming acutely aware of the consumer-driven society in which we live can help us choose the right path. If you realize your money is only as valuable as what you spend it on you can do more with it. Dream bigger dreams for your money and spend it on what will make you happy in the long run, rather than at the shop on a material object. Consider the full cost of your purchases. When we purchase an item we only look at the price, but rarely the full cost. Purchases always cost us additional time, energy, and focus. Making a habit of intentionally factoring those expenses into our purchases will allow our minds to make more competent and confident decisions about our consumption habits. Make gratitude a discipline in your life. Embrace it as a discipline during seasons of plenty and seasons of want.
Wanting less brings us more benefits than we think, removing yourself from the culture of consumption that surrounds us allows wonderful habits to emerge in our lives: contentment, gratitude, freedom from comparison, and the opportunity to pursue greater significance. To exist it to consume. But as humans, we are designed to accomplish things far greater. The sooner we remove ourselves from overconsumption, the sooner we realize our truest potential.