Yes, this is a busy time of year… especially with the craziness that comes with Black Friday!
No, I don’t buy into consumerism (especially after living on a tiny island this year and realizing we don’t actually need much ‘STUFF’ to be happy)!
With our increasing concern about the impact of waste, I don’t agree with retailers getting customers to buy things they otherwise wouldn’t want or need. It is not a sustainable strategy!
Believe me… when you have very little in the way of shopping options, you realize that you don’t need much.
This year I spent about 3.5 months living on Gili Air – the whole circumference of this tiny island is 5km.
That is 5km around the WHOLE island!
That doesn’t leave any space for dominant shopping centres. And also, when everything has to be brought onto the island via boat and then horse cart – there isn’t much desire to build large-scale concrete shopping buildings anyway.
So, when living on this island, you make do with the bamboo boutique style shops and ‘market-style-family-run’ grocery store.
Which is actually beautifully quaint and at the same time super simple.
My life there was extremely simplified. You cooked what fresh veggies were brought into the grocer that day. You didn’t buy any clothes you didn’t need (because you would have to carry your extra load when island hopping to various locations). And so, you are happy with what you have and don’t feel the desire to consume more.
I recently left the island and travelled to Cape Town after transferring through Singapore airport.
Consumerism hits me.
Yes, I love the Christmas vibe and all the decorations – but I am overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ in SO many shops.
Do we really need more possessions?
Today is Black Friday.
According to the Telegraph; it is the “USA’s biggest shopping event of the year, starting the day after Thanksgiving, when many shops cut their prices on a range of products, to boost profits and officially kick off the festive season.”
However, it didn’t start that way!
The term “Black Friday” was actually first associated with a financial crisis, not sales shopping!!
So, as you go about your day today, yes, shop around and receive significant discounts but just be conscious of your shopping habits.
3 tips on how to survive Black Friday:
- Buy only what you need – don’t get caught up in buying something just because it has a decent discount. Before purchasing – ask yourself if you REALLY need it?
- Buy experiences rather than things – what can you buy as Christmas gifts that wouldn’t add to the plastic waste? Think of shopping for meaningful experiences rather than more items that will just clog up your cupboards.
- Avoid the crazy energy – if you can, buy online. The shops – and all the frantic energy that goes with being in the physical space with all those people – are best to be avoided.
So yes, be conscious and don’t wastefully shop, but still enjoy the festive energy.
Wishing a happy Black FriYay to you!
Sending you much love