on becoming lighter

Refuse what you do not need.

I did not realize (or did I and chose to ignore it?) that the concept of consumerism created such a blind spot in my field of vision: thinking about the things I do not need and deciding to refuse them in my life. When one grew up with the phrase don’t look a given horse in the mouth then it’s easy to apply the horse not only to gifts but to any material thing coming along on your journey.

I started saying no to the easy ones:

  • turning down freebies – even if it’s a free pen
  • the heirlooms that the family never used but also never wanted to get rid of (although this one still is not so easy…)
  • the plastic bag that you pay for when shopping
  • food or drinks served in disposable containers (the added benefit is that this one helps to get rid of the waste around the waist)
  • the flyers passed through your car window at every traffic light

The ones that take more time and effort:

  • to not receive junk mail in one’s post box
  • to receive only electronic letters  – think of all the letters and pieces of paper you receive daily –  from school, from work, from I don’t know even where
  • to buy things that last a long time and are locally made

Then there are those items that I regularly find in the dust bin – items one could have said “no” to:

  • sticky ice cream wrappers (visiting friends and family)
  • energy bar snack wrappers (an easy lunch replacement; but is it really necessary?)
  • plastic bags for items I can’t remember the names of (plastic upon plastic upon plastic)

Does this principle apply to people in one’s life too?

And you reader, what do you find easy to refuse? And, what do you find difficult to refuse?


2 thoughts on “on becoming lighter

  1. I find plastic bags easy to refuse when out shopping and choose items with the least packaging when shopping. Minimise packaging by not buying processed food, or fast food and cooking from scratch. Iam now saying no to those things no one else wants (as we are often asked if we would like something that would have gone to the dump), having come to the realisation that I am not responsible for dealing with everyone elses waste! That has been hard for me as I hate to think of resources being sent to land fill, but it is becoming a weight for me.

    • Kate…I still find myself without a shopping bag at the counter and then buying! plastic ones…excusing myself that I can use them later (which I can, but I hate paying money for plastic bags when I have so many at home). Trying to find products with the least amount of packaging is quite something…I opened a box of tea tree soap yesterday to find it embedded in a clinging plastic wrap….yet another reminder. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. sonja

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