We’re all guilty of buying unnecessary things from time to time. But, we often don’t stop to think about the negative consequences of our shopping habits. Although buying stuff gives us instant gratification, our consumer behaviours may be having a much greater impact than we think.
Buying unnecessary things often leads to over-consumption which harms the environment. To keep up with consumer demands, fast fashion and other goods are producing lots of waste that have toxic chemicals. They are using non-biodegradable materials and contributing to the destruction of our environment.
How Our Purchases Affect The Environment
Buying unnecessary things all the time is environmentally unethical. The goods that we buy are treated as easily disposable and means we’re more likely to majorly pollute the earth. This is because, in the world of fast fashion and never-ending quick supplies, tonnes of rubbish are being thrown out every year.
Consequently, our seas are now becoming filled with plastic causing severe damage to marine life. Toxic chemicals used to make products also go back into the ground in landfills and contaminate the surrounding areas. This ruins the quality of the land and will affect our agriculture as the chemicals impact the soil quality. Also, landfills are continuing to increase in size because of our waste generation, which is leaving less space for a thriving environment.
The growing demand for unnecessary items also drives more pointless things to be made by profit-driven companies. This increases our carbon footprints as items need to be shipped all over the world. Such demand also drives deforestation, destroying vital habitats for our wildlife and reducing the number of trees which provide the oxygen that we breathe.
It is a chain system that begins with the development of a product which is then desired by mass amounts of people. Then this product is in high demand so lots of cheaper and less sustainable resources are put into making them and sending them off as quickly as possible. Which leads to the impact of fuel from transporting the item across the globe. The packaging to keep it safe will also be discarded as soon as it arrives. Until finally it reaches your doorstep. Only for you to potentially use it once and never think of it again.
Meanwhile, entire habitats are destroyed, the soil quality of the land is decreasing, and the pollution of the area continues to rise.
This is not to say that you can’t buy anything and have it delivered to your home. But it’s important to consider each purchase before committing to decrease the consequences of buying unnecessary items.
If you find yourself buying too many pointless things, it may be time to try and quit your habits. This will allow you to take back control of your savings, increase your happiness, and help the environment all at once! What’s not to love? Simply, try to shop more consciously or speak to someone you trust to help you battle your unnecessary buys.
What Happens When You Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need?
One thing you’ll notice when you stop buying unnecessary things is that you will start to save a lot more money. Buying things gives us instant pleasure, especially when we are bored. But the things we buy only bring us happiness for a short while. Hence, we want to buy more and more to keep ourselves entertained.
But, if you were to save your money instead, you could eventually save up for things that will bring you long-lasting happiness. Whether it’s a deposit for your dream home or a car, saving little bits of money here and there goes a long way. You could put the money towards the holiday on your bucket list! While it isn’t an immediate reward for saving your money, the experience would be worth it.
Another thing you will notice is that you will have more time on your hands to do the things that you love. Hours spent online shopping every week can add up to hundreds of hours a year. So, when you stop unnecessarily shopping, you can focus your energy on hobbies, seeing your loved ones, or working on yourself instead.
But what is the first step to this relief? Get rid of your current unnecessary items before the piles grow any bigger! It’s a great idea to treat this as if you’re doing a spring cleanout for unnecessary items. And, to ensure your waste goes to the right place, hiring a skip bin is a great option. There are different kinds of skip bins, including general waste and green waste skips for hire, to help separate your stuff. This way you can make sure they are sustainably and correctly disposed of.
Is It Okay To Buy Unnecessary Things?
While it is okay to buy unnecessary things occasionally, you should try your best to avoid doing it regularly. This type of regular shopping can seem harmless. But the more you do it, the more it will likely become a habit or hobby.
Like most hobbies, too much shopping can eventually turn into an addiction and impact your health. You can end up having withdrawals when trying to stop shopping. It can affect your mindset, sleep patterns and in some cases has sent people bankrupt. It’s fine to indulge in things that you want every now and then, but not often enough for it to threaten your livelihood and wellbeing.
If this is the case, you may not even realise that you are doing it because you have become so used to buying unnecessary goods. This may be hindering your ability to save money or may turn into a genuine compulsion. So, it’s best to try and reduce the number of unnecessary things you are buying in order to avoid these negative personal impacts.
What Are Unnecessary Purchases?
There are so many everyday purchases that could be considered ‘unnecessary’. Convenient food and drinks are some of the biggest culprits. You could be making food and coffee at home for a fraction of the price. You could also cut down on the plastic cups and packaging that these would come in. The tricky part is distinguishing between unnecessary wants and needs when food is something you need to survive. But the delivery service is only a want because you can make the food at home.
New clothes are another offender. Purchasing clothes that are ‘on trend’ one season and then thrown away the next means you will have to buy clothes every couple of months. This would be in order to keep up with the new styles. Try buying timeless pieces that you know will last you years to prevent yourself from splurging on your wardrobe!
There are loads of other items and habits that could be considered unnecessary:
- Buying products on sale just because they’re cheap.
- Novelty decorations.
- Investing in cheap electronics.
Why Do People Buy Unnecessary Items?
Generally, people buy unnecessary items because they are unhappy in their own lives. Often, people equate their self-worth with the items that they buy and obsess over being trendy or impressing other people. So, many of us become reliant on buying new things to make ourselves feel better rather than working on ourselves for who we are.
Similarly, people buy new things because they are jealous of what other people have and feel the need to compare themselves to others. This means that many people equate success with the number of things they have. Such a mindset leads to never-ending shopping to ‘keep up’ with other people around you. This is not only harmful to yourself but spreads this message to other people who will then feel obliged to shop more.
Another major reason for buying unnecessary things is boredom. When we think that our own lives are deficient, we look elsewhere for happiness and fulfilment. Whether it’s a recent heartbreak causing you pain, feeling unstimulated, or hating your job, many people use buying things as a coping mechanism.
While it can help to ease our troubles in the short term, buying unnecessary things will not fix your problems for good. Doing so is simply pasting over the cracks. Instead, you should try to figure out the root of your problems to create healthier coping strategies.
A good solution to getting rid of your unnecessary purchases is upcycling and recycling items you don’t use. We have a great guide to upcycling and recycling that might be handy in your attempts to cut down your clutter. Looking for a good way to remove your unwanted items? Check out our skip bins for hire and our guide to what can be put in a skip bin.