I was reflecting on my journey the other day, and I realized just how much my thought processes have changed over the years. the old me would have thought about how much I wanted something, and how much it was, but now, there are so many other questions that need to be answered before I make a purchase.
- Why I want something – It amazes me now, but I would truly have never asked myself this question in the past. If I wanted it, and I could get it, then I would go for it. I never thought about why I was wanting that item, or why I was wanting to make a purchase in the first place. Looking back, sometimes I made purchases simply because I was bored.
- Who made my clothes – Clothes is something I also never questioned. After all, I believed that if things were that bad, we simply wouldn’t allow them into the mainstream. This, I have discovered, is not the case. Different materials, different levels of plastic, different countries, and regulations that they follow, there are so many variables when it comes to clothes. Now, I keep it simple, I buy second hand for most items, and really do my research on the few pieces I buy new.
- Where my food came from – I mean, it was already in the shop, right? What could I do about how it got there. While of course now I know that every dollar is a vote for the kind of practice that I want to see in the world, back then, I feel like I left the thinking to others, believing that the system or the government would make people do the right thing. Now I take responsibility for my own choices.
- How long I will use something for?
I know that this is a tricky one, particularly when you are growing up. I could have sworn that I would always love the things that I loved, and then within six months, I would have moved on to something else. While I would never tell my younger self to stop growing, or changing her interests, or even investing in them, I would encourage her to not get swept up in the marketing, and only purchase things directly related to the interest. If you love a singer, invest in the album, but you probably don’t need perfume with the artist’s face on it, or a tell-all book about them written by somebody they have never met.
- What is its end of life?
Can it be repurposed, recycled, composted, or is it destined for the landfill? It is again, just something I never thought about. And honestly, I thought most things could be recycled – I just assumed that we wouldn’t make them. It is amazing the things I convinced myself, simply so I didn’t have to look any deeper. Now, I put a lot of research into the purchases I make, and try to make the most ethical decisions possible. I don’t always get it right, but I always strive to do the best I can.
Those are just five ways my thought process has changed over my eco-friendly journey. I have to say, when I began, I truly didn’t think this much change was possible, but it is amazing how much you can change when you take things one step at a time.