So, now that the mad dash of the holiday weekend and Black Friday is over I have finally ventured out of my home and into a store. I had a few errands to do, and one of them took me to the dollar store.
I used to absolutely adore the dollar store…mainly because it was so cheap! But now, after becoming a minimalist and Zero-waster, my eyes are open where they weren’t before.
What I now see when I enter a dollar store:
Plastic….plastic…more plastic. Small cheap stuff that is excessively breakable. Junk…junk, and more junk. Unrecyclable stuff. Lots of chemicals and questionable products.
It just isn’t the same anymore.
I have finally cut the cord on my “consumerist” tendencies.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still buy food, pay my bills, etc. So I am consuming…I do need gas for my car, you know.
But the incessant shopping simply to shop and buying things because “oh, it’s cute. It’s on sale, I have a coupon. I could use it.” is over.
I used to go into stores (both brick and online) and just shop because I was bored, or because I needed more “bins” to organize my “stuff”.
Now I go in and see it for what it is. A large waste of time for most people.
I do buy things occasionally now, like second hand clothes from the salvation army. Or glass mason jars, bamboo toothbrushes, etc. But everything I buy now has to meet certain standards.
- The item must be without packaging, or in minimal plastic-free packaging.
- The item must not be made out of plastic itself.
- The item must be made of sustainable materials.
- The item must be made of natural materials, such as wool, cotton, glass, bamboo, etc. No blends or synthetic materials.
- It must be a good quality item that will last for years, not weeks.
- I have to know where the item came from, I try to make sure my purchases are Fair trade, and made in good conditions.
- The closer the item is made to home the better, cutting back on the fuels it takes to reach me or the store.
- The item has to serve a specific purpose that is useful to me.
- The item must be something that I will actually use.
- The item must be easy to recycle, up-cycle, etc when it has ended it’s life.
- The item has to bring me a significant amount of joy or convenience, preferably both.
Do you have any other standards for shopping?