2017 was not a good year, but the good news is that 2018 is just around the corner! … and it’s bound to be at least as bad. In these uncertain times, we are compelled to take control over those few things that we can control, and make a difference, however we can.
Although we are cardholding Canadians and therefore unable to help with all of the re-election down south, there is one thing we can do: we can curb our spending habits and get rid of all the excess in our homes.
How does it help?
With the rise in fast fashion, consumption is at an all-time high. People are buying more than they can afford, and then tossing it out and buying new stuff (that they still can’t afford). Meanwhile, big corporations make a killing off of the new consumer class, and stand to gain from us spending more and more each year.
Producing consumer goods uses fresh water and produces greenhouse gases. They also take up space in landfills when we’re through with them. By limiting our spending only to what we need, we can prevent further waste from industry, and limit our carbon footprint. That all sounds good to us.
Inexpensive consumer goods are usually inexpensive for a reason. When you consider the exploitative labour practices occurring in less-developed nations, it makes the behaviour of the consumer class seem even more careless and destructive. This Forbes article sums up the impact that fast fashion has on women in particular.
We wouldn’t suggest that the best thing to do about exploitative labour is to eliminate these jobs altogether, of course – everyone deserves the right to earn a living. What we suggest is that instead of putting money in the pocket of fashion companies like H&M and Forever 21, consider making a donation to your favourite charitable organization and let the experts handle what to do about poverty overseas. We certainly aren’t going to solve anything by continuing to put cash in fashion CEOs’ pockets.
Clutter has an impact on our mental health. Getting rid of it – and then, committing to keeping it out – could be instrumental for a person with mental illness. (It could also not be that – everyone’s different. But I’m willing to try it.)
Clutter is often an insidious and seemingly harmless outgrowth of people’s natural desire to appropriate their personal spaces with possessions … when [clutter] becomes excessive, it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person in dysfunctional home environments which contribute to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation. (Roster et. al, 2016)
Spending Detox 2018
So let’s get down to it – what are we going to do to make a difference this year?
1. No spending on unnecessary consumer products
2. No spending on clothing, period, unless one of the following items is ruined beyond repair and needs to be replaced:
* Exceptions will be made for one-time projects given that they are actually completed (i.e. cosplays, special baking supplies, an artistic project) with the understanding that the item will be returned if it is not used in a timely manner.