TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: Less Is More


Day 53 / 365

I come from a city that is known for being cheap. Cheap to live in, and full of cheapskates. Unlike most places on this planet, Winnipeg isn't a place you boast about spending big, instead you brag about sending small. So consumption of much for very little is a bit of a trend.


I by no means blame Winnipeg for my unconscious spending habits, since I was a kid I've found solo shopping a soothing form of entertainment, it gives me the same calming feeling that a visit to a museum or an art gallery does, only I there's the bonus of getting to bag whatever I like (within reason). I'd go so far as to call shopping and the subsequent spending a form of personal meditation, though it likely deducts from my consciousness and pummels my path to enlightenment, as you can't possibly reach nirvana with the apathy that unconscious consumerism manifests. 


'WINNIPEG: Cheap Like Borscht' by Happyland Printshop
As it turns out, there is a reason for the seduction shopping creates. In 2007, a team of researchers from Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon began studying the brains of people as they made shopping decisions. When the subject saw a desirable object to purchase, the pleasure centre in their brain lit up. The more they wanted the item, the more activity there was. Interestingly, when the researcher revealed the price of the item, the medial prefrontal cortex weighted the decision while the insula, which process pain, reacted to the cost. 

A large price tag put the brain in a "dedonic competition between the immediate pleasure of acquisition and the equally immediate pain of paying," proving that buying cheap shit is more pleasurable for us then the pain which comes from having to rationalise and justify our decisions through conscious thought. The happiness we feel when mindlessly consuming comes from the simple pursuit of simple minded pleasure. Like Pavlovs Dog or a mouse after cheese in a maze. 

Though we know on some level that consumption of low cost clothing means we're investing in landfill growth, harmful pollution and inhumane treatment of humans and animals, we tend to take the route of blissful ignorance, but in this case, ignorance isn't just ignorance, by purchasing on a whim you're encouraging slave labour, supporting pollution, and financially aiding a fall in consciousness. 


- So What To Do?- 

[LEARN TO LOVE]
It's time we start asking ourselves how much we really want something, how much we really need it. And whether it sits within our own morals to buy it. If the company you're purchasing from can't tell you the circular story of the product and doesn't know who made it, you probably shouldn't be buying it. Your next item of purchase should hold a story that ignites something more inside you than your animal like instinct to hunt and gather, you should love it like it is a work of art and feel pride owning it. Something that makes you feel confident and authentically you. It should also be something you'd like to pass down to your children

[MAKE YOURSELF A MANTRA]

The author of the article Your Next Item Of Clothing Should Be So Expensive It Hurts has set himself a minimum price of purchase at $150.00, he's a freelance writer, so not rolling in dough, but with this price as his minimum he knows he's buying something he loves that is likely made sustainably, ethically, and created for longevity. And he knows, with that as a minimum budget, he'll buy less.

For me, I am choosing to only purchase items which are replace something that has fallen apart. And that replacement must be both eco and ethical. For example, when my leggings finally gave in, I bought a pair of People Tree Organic Leggings to replace them. They were three times the price of my old ones and I had to pay to get them shortened for my little legs, but they'll last a long while and because of the material can decompose back into the Earth without harm at the end of their lifecycle.



[CLEANSE YOUR CLOSET]
The new book by Japanese organization guru Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has lead to a mass decluttering and has created a cult following affirming improvements to their mind, body and soul after they follow her guidebook on shedding slews of stuff. You'll find her book HERE.

[CAPSULIZE]

I learnt a long time ago that less is more, and now two cross pond moves later I realized you can't reasonably move country once a year with anything more than two (large) pieces of luggage, so a few ebay sales and lots of giveaway bags later,  I've managed to create a capsule wardrobe that is cross seasonal and cross situational, one which I can traipse around the desert, waltz up to a wedding, or barter business in. And I look like me while I'm doing it, not like a zombie fashion lamb.

[BUY BETTER]

(This is sort of a sum up of this week's #GoneGreen2016, so you can click the linked words to learn more about each suggestion:) If you're going to buy, buy something sustainable, something upcycled, something recycled, something vintage, something second hand, reuse, restyle and rewear. Don't be let yourself add to the problem, inspire yourself to be part of the solution! xo