There’s simply no way around it. We consume a lot of things we don’t need. While there are basic things we need such as food, shelter, or clothing. We consume far more things that we don’t need then things we actually do need.
The problem is our consumption habits. Our society as a whole consumes things mindlessly. We are encouraged to consume things and made to feel less valuable if we do not acquire things. The end result of our overconsumption habit is we accumulate a lot of waste (things we don’t need) that we acquire through debt. A recent report by Equifax found Canadian debt load is increasing. According to the report, Canadian debt load now sits at $1.568 trillion, which includes mortgage debt. Canadian debt to income now sits at 164.6 %. That means for every dollar in disposable income Canadians have, they owe $1.64 in debt.
The figure isn’t that surprising since our consumption habits have been made worse with low-interest rate and easy access to credit. In addition to those factors, our economic system relies heavily on our consumption habits. Everything flows from consumption whether it be something worthwhile or standing in line for the latest Apple iPhone. The belief is that people will demand things that offer real value and make their lives better, while wasteful or useless things will have little to no demand. However, we do not purchase things solely on its value proposition. Sometimes we purchase things simply because we can or have the means to purchase it. And since it’s possible for us to purchase something even when it offers no real value to us, zero waste is not possible.
We all consumer, including me and while we consume things we sometimes need, we also consumer a lot of things we don’t need.
And there lies the problem. When we over-consume things it creates waste that drags us down. It becomes unstainable in the long term both emotionally and financially.
Waste clouds our life and makes us focus on the wrong things that deprive us of our happiness. Avoid mindless consumerism and opt for engaged consumerism. Understand what and why you’re consuming.
As the old saying goes. Ask yourself if you need something or simply want something before your purchase it.