Posted on February 25, 2009, a guest post by Diana Tokalic
Despite the media attention, reading the books and the articles, learning about it in school and having a best friend who is truly an environmentalist at heart, I am guilty of being a consumption-holic. I am conscious of the fact that a) I already have a lot of stuff and b) I don’t need anything else but I still find myself buying a lot of items that I justify with these reasons:
- It’s cheap, I should stock up in case I need it in the future,
- It’s so pretty, having this will make me just a little bit more happy and confident (I know I’m already happy and confident, but now I can be just this much happier and this much more confident), and
- This is so innovative and practical, this will be more useful than what I have now.
I am a true shop-o-holic but I thought I got a little smarter. Every time I am faced with the decision to buy something, I hold it and think about how badly I need it and what I already have that is similar or could use in place of it. I weigh things out and sometime I will hold the item and walk around it in the store while I look at other things. Sometimes if I’m really undecided, I will leave the store without it and see if I still think about it later. This has been quite a hard practice for me but I had been doing pretty good and held off a lot of purchases but I think I'm relapsing.
I’ve run into the trouble lately of finding a lot of things that are on sale, look good on me, are very innovative or all of the above and I just want it all. Impulsive buying was something that I thought was in the past for me. I have to confess now that I just bought a new flat screen TV on impulse. My intention for going to Best Buy was actually to just pick up a movie. Mind you, this is my first TV and I now intend to move out by summer so it’s kind of justified. If you knew me well though, you would know that I don’t watch cable/satellite TV and rarely do I get the occasion to pop in a DVD. Still, I think it was a good purchase and it’s there for me to enjoy whenever I want. I could almost say the same about for my car.
My problem I think is that I enjoy doing a lot of various activities that require different things. In 2008 alone, I picked up snowboarding, yoga, soccer, ultimate frisbee, ceramic painting, and dance. This year already and it’s only February, I’ve picked up swimming and Spanish lessons. I also don’t have just one style in clothes, I have about a million and they all reflect who I am. I don’t know if you’ve guessed it yet, but I’m a Gemini characterized by multiple personalities. Since it’s hard to change someone’s personality I think it’s hard to change what I consume. I am still going to make a conscious effort to think about what I’m buying because I love the environment and I love my best friend the environmentalist. I agree with the problems that consumption poses for us and I don’t like how I’m contributing to those problems but I have a personal problem that is misaligned. One of these days, I might stop my hobby of taking up new hobbies but hey, at least I gave being an environmentalist a try.
A video to watch: http://www.storyofstuff.com/
If I can’t change, maybe I can get one of you to.