Shopping is an expenditure of time, energy, and money. It’s easy to forget that all of these are limited resources, and choosing to shop is choosing not to do something else, often something more enjoyable and fulfilling. Although shopping may not be the worst thing we can do to the planet, it’s probably the eco-sin we commit most often, with the least amount of consciousness. (Greenwashers, you’re not helping here.)
For your benefit — and mine — I’ve compiled a list of reasons why shopping isn’t a good use of your finite time and energy. (Kevin asks me to offer the caveat that not all of these will apply to you. But I’m pretty sure at least some of them will.) Bookmark it for the next time the urge to shop strikes!
- Shopping actually makes you pretty tired, cranky, and/or indecisive. (You tend to forget this inconvenient truth until you’re already in the middle of it.)
- You have too much stuff already.
- You can’t remember the last time you watched clouds move across the sky, sat by the ocean and listened to the rhythm of the tides, or went for a walk in the woods.
- You keep meaning to call your friend/sister/brother/mother but haven’t been able to find the time.
- You have books full of recipes, crafts, or music you want to try and have never gotten around to.
- Last year’s garden never got planted.
- You passed on the last interesting-sounding workshop, class, or community group because you didn’t think you had the time. You probably do, if you cut out all unnecessary shopping (and the internet addiction.)
- It’s been months since you read a book.
- Your novel/screenplay/painting has been ‘in progress’ for the last ten years. You’re starting to get embarrassed whenever anyone asks how it’s going.
- You’ve been slacking on volunteering at your favorite non-profit, even though you love doing it.
- Your pet is starting to prefer your spouse because you’re so rarely at home.
- You’re starting to realize that you’d prefer a massage to new crap to clutter up your closets.
- You haven’t sat down and really spent time with your spouse/best friend in months.
In fact, there might just be two reasons to shop:
- None of the above applies to you.
- You genuinely need something.