I am not a person who makes New Year’s resolutions – mostly because it feels cliché. I do try, though, throughout the year to do things that will make me a better person, that will impact others, and that matter. In many ways, this fits with my thrift- focused lifestyle: being conscious of how I spend my dollars and how my consumerism impacts the earth is important.
So with that in mind, I’ve decided to make some thrift -related resolutions and I’m inviting you to do the same and asking you to share your ideas to help me achieve mine.
- I resolve to reduce the amount of plastic that comes into my house.
I have come to terms with the fact that there will always be plastic in my life. I already use cloth shopping bags and mesh produce bags (or reuse plastic produce bags), I try to purchase products that have less packaging, and I recycle all that I can. But there are some things I haven’t been able to avoid: yogurt containers are a great example. I know I could make my own yogurt but since I’m lactose intolerant, it’s much, much simpler to purchase yogurt that is lactose-free. I do reuse the containers all the time, though, to freeze the home-made veg stock that I make every few weeks. Still, there are other areas where I can choose differently. One decision I made recently was to purchase bar shampoo. One of these bars is equivalent to three plastic bottles of shampoo, which means I’m keeping 3 bottles out of the system. It’s also great shampoo.
What are other ways that I can bring less plastic into my house?
- I resolve to purchase only when I need something.
This might feel obvious to some of you but as much as I want to be a conscientious consumer, there are seasons when I throw that out the window. The best example of this is when I’m on vacation. One of the traditions that my hubby and I started years ago is to pick up a Christmas tree ornament when we travel – something that represents that place. I like this tradition for a few reasons: I end up purchasing something that I don’t have to look at all the time, it lasts longer than a t-shirt, and it always brings back great memories. But do I really need another Christmas ornament? Probably not – my tree gets fuller every year.
Maybe I need to define “need” – how would you define that?
- I resolve to declutter my basement.
I have an ulterior motive for this one – I want to turn my basement into a yoga studio. This means more than simply getting rid of stuff: it means doing a bit of renovating and it means redefining living spaces in our home. But before any of that can happen, I have to deal with the things I’ve shoved in closets and corners because I just don’t want to deal with them. I don’t relish this task but it’s gotta be done.
What’s your best tip for starting the decluttering process?
If you don’t want to weigh in on my resolutions, share your resolutions with me!