July 30, 2011

Why I Am Not Buying Anything

First off, let me say that we do buy things. We do not live a self-sufficient lifestyle on a remote wilderness homestead. I wonder if it is even possible to live self-sufficiently, since we all rely on each other. But most of us could live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, supported by our local communities.

What we are not buying is extra stuff - we try to stick to the necessities of food, shelter, utilities, transportation, and health care. We do not spend much on clothes, as we just take good care of the clothes we own.

But in a world where virtually anything you can imagine you can buy, why not buy anything other than necessities? Here are just a few of our reasons:

  • we are satisfied with what we already have
  • the less we buy, the less we have to work
  • our current consumption is already more than our fair share of the planet's resources
  • we figure that one person changing their own behaviour is better than 100 people trying to get governments, the rich, or corporations to change theirs
  • it gives us a wonderful feeling that we are part of the solution
  • it feels like the right thing to do, and the right time to do it
  • buying less stuff means less hassle - stuff must be procured, paid for, stored securely to guard against theft, maintained, and disposed of eventually
  • with less stuff we can live in a smaller, more efficient home
  • by keeping our lives local we save money on travel, and get to really know our area and the people that live in it
  • low consumption lifestyles help create a more equitable world
  • none of the world's great teachers has said that acquiring lots of things will make us happy, quite the opposite in fact
  • more is like an anchor, less is like wings

Why are you buying less stuff? 


  1. It saddens my heart to think of the vast piles of junk that most of us will leave behind on this planet. A junk pile isn't the sort of legacy I would prefer to leave behind for future generations.

  2. i buy less because it gives me more time to spend with my family- taking care of the garden and the animals allows us to work and grow together.

  3. Savoring Servant,

    Our junk piles will serve as a warning to those that come after us - "live within the means of Earth's ecological systems, or suffer the consequences."


    'Working and growing together' is where it is at. I am enjoying my container garden this summer - it is the biggest I have had yet. Growing food connects us to all that is important, as does our family and community.

    Less stuff, less unproductive work, and more of all that is what I am after.


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