How are your green new year’s resolutions going so far? I’m proud to say that so far in 2011, I’ve saved money, time and the environment by not shopping — except for food.
No, I haven’t joined The Compact. I’ve simply signed up for the week-long No Impact Experiment — a crash course of sorts in happy eco-living. Each day covers a big green living topic — and the experiment kicked off yesterday by tackling “Consumption.”
Consuming less can sound like deprivation, but unlike many eco-challenges, the No Impact Experiment’s goal is happiness-centric. The goal for “Consumption” day, after all, is to “live a fuller and happier life by buying less stuff.” And now, just after the holiday season spent fighting for parking spots in the malls and getting craptastic cheapo gifts from acquaintances, is when many people kind of want to consume less anyway.
So I tackled “Consumption” excitedly! Each day comes with a list of a few homework assignments, and for “Consumption” day, I was to write down a list of everything I planned to buy this week — and whittle it down to just the stuff I really needed. Thus, I was able to shorten my list down to a single item — food!
Then I hit a snafu: I got sick yesterday afternoon. So I ended up also having to buy drugs at CVS.
Still, I’m proud to say that one day into my No Impact Experiment, the only things I’ve bought are honest necessities — food and drugs. Of course, reducing consumption for a single week is quite easy; I could just save my binge shopping trip for next week. That’s why the tip to write down everything I plan to buy at the beginning of the week — so I can take a moment to evaluate what I really need and resist impulse purchases — is something I plan to adopt for the rest of the year.
Luckily, I live in a teeny-tiny apartment that pretty much makes it impossible for me to buy a lot of stuff. That, plus my general abhorrence for clutter helps me avoid buying crap. What do you do to smart-size your life?