Let’s talk about stuff. Literally stuff. All the stuff that’s stuffed down our throats, the stuff we buy without thinking, the stuff we buy to make ourselves feel better and the stuff we buy and then feel guilty for. Let’s talk about stuff baby. Let’s talk about you and me.
I wanted to start writing about consumerism because it is a huge factor in what led me towards life with Mander. I have been slowly working my way into cleaner living and minimalism. This topic also comes into play with how I will live in Mander. Because of my plans to be in nature and my lack of plans for money making, I need the things I use to be kind to the earth and my pocketbook. I also want to inspire people to buy better things. To buy less things. To start thinking a little more about their purchases. To read labels. To make small changes. I thought if I do one entry a week featuring a product that I think is great, give you the reasons I think it’s great and some background about how I discovered it, maybe you’ll be into that? I hope so because I’m gonna do it anyway! Here it goes!
We are brain washed. Industry has buried the simple, clean ways of living and is dumping out loads of cheap garbage and we’re eating it up. We are consumer puppets and it’s time to cut those mother fucking strings and demand better! We have to educate ourselves and stop being spoon fed poison. Here’s some background about how I got my brain back and became a conscious consumer.
Not that long ago I would say I was your average consumer. I bought Crest toothpaste, bleached coffee filters, fruit roll ups, fast fashion clothes and so many neat things I didn’t need. I smoked cigarettes, shopped at Wal-Mart and didn’t put a whole lot of thought into the things I bought. Then I started waking up. It actually began with food. I’m not sure why I started caring about what I put in my body but I did. I was making some small changes in what I ate and then I watched Food Inc and that solidified it. I was horrified by the industry and I wasn’t going to stand for it anymore. Cleaning up my food meant spending a lot of time reading labels. I said no to food dye, weird preservatives, most processed food and set my sights on primarily organic, good old fashioned WHOLE FOOD. Before you knew it, I was joining my local co-op and hitting up the farmers market all whilst eating chia seeds and kale!
After I tackled being a better eater, I turned my newly opened eyes towards other aspects of consumerism. Around the same time I was moving out of the apartment I had lived in for 11 years. I was getting rid of a lot of stuff to make the move easier and in doing this, a fog began to lift. With everything I gave away, I felt stagnant energy shift. I moved into my new place, bigger than the last but still felt compelled to get rid of things. All these beautiful, useless, things I had surrounded myself with were like weights tied around my ankles and I couldn’t get them out of my house fast enough. I became addicted to purging! I decided everything I owned now had to be useful and bring me joy. No more excess! No more toxic ingredients! No more clutter! I wish everyone could know the feeling of letting go of material attachments. It’s ridiculously freeing.
I have so much more to say on these topics, as they are multifaceted, but I am trying to break it down into bite size portions. I think that one of the biggest issues that people have with making changes in consumerism is they feel it is too large and too complicated to tackle. I do not wish to add to those feelings. I also, in no way, want anyone to feel bad about what they have been consuming. My goal is to introduce you to discoveries, ideas and products that I feel passionate about in hopes that you will too. I want you to feel like being a consumer is a powerful position you care about. I want you to feel empowered! You have choices and I want to help you make good ones. That is, if you’ll have me. So let’s start with something small…Your toothbrush!
Most people use plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfills or floating around it the ocean. You may be thinking, “It’s just a tiny toothbrush. Who gives a rat’s ass, lady?” Well all those little toothbrushes add up because guess what…almost everyone has teeth.
“In the United States alone it is estimated that between 850 million, and over a billion toothbrushes, representing more than 50 million pounds of waste, are discarded and end up in land fills every single year.”
That’s a whole lotta plastic. Here’s a great alternative! I bought these almost a year ago and I still have 2 left! The bristles are not too hard and not too soft. Plus, the bamboo feels so soft and comfy in my hand! You get a 4 pack for $11.99 which means each brush is $2.99. That is not that far off from what a standard plastic brush costs.
They also have a second life purpose as plant markers in your garden! You can write on the handles and you don’t have to worry about chemicals leeching into the ground. Once you have thoroughly used up your brush you can toss it in the trash/compost resting assured it will not be lingering around 1,000 years from now. Ok great! That’s a good start!
What do you think of this addition to my blog? Do you give zero fucks? Is your interest piqued? Do you think I’m being all high horse-y and wish I would just cram it? Have you been thinking of making changes and you like the idea of one small change a week? Please, do tell!
If you’re super into this and want homework, I strongly suggest watching these documentaries. All available on Netflix:
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
The Human Experiment
The True Cost