Pondering Purchases During A Pandemic

Woman online shopping with credit card

It’s so tempting. We’re bored, we have much more time on our hands than usual and buying things just makes us feel better. There is a reason it’s called retail therapy.  How many of you have gone online shopping for that perfect dress and even thought to yourself well, no one will see me in it and I am not going to work but I can just wear it around the house?  I too feel the pull to buy online and I get the thrill when it arrives. 

Ok, so maybe you haven’t gone searching for the perfect jeans to wear after the pandemic but if you have kids, I am sure that you have purchased a thing or two to keep them busy.  I get it. Managing kids while trying to work and not being allowed to leave your house and for some of us not even being able to go for walks, is complete madness. But, although times are tough right now, try not to lose sight of who you are and do what you can to maintain your eco footprint.

The Negatives About Online Shopping:

*Buying online is so fast that it is easy to give in to your impulse buys which often don’t align with your environmental views.

*It’s hard to resist that 2 day or next day deliver and that comes with lots of added emissions

Want to know more about online shopping vs shopping in a store?  Check out Polly Bark’s article Is shopping online more eco-friendly than shopping local?

Below are a few tips for you and your family to do rather than shop

Start here

*This is a hard one but start by doing NOTHING.  

*Don’t buy.  Just wait. Give yourself a day or two and then reassess.   

*Ask yourself if you are buying just to buy?

Think About These Questions from Earth Mama Erika’s Blog Post Consuming vs. Consumerism:

Minimalist Joshua Fields and Ryan Nicodemus share 6 questions that might be helpful and a good place to start BEFORE you shop. 

1. Who am I buying this for?

2. Will this add value to my life?

3. Can I afford it?

4. Is this the best use of this money?

5. What’s the actual cost?

6. Would the best version of me buy this?

Question 7, 8 & 9 are  Earthmama additions:

7.  Where did this good/service/product come from?   A Sustainable company?

8.  How long will this product/good LIVE.  What will happen to this good/product after I finish using(dispose) it?  

9. Do I own something that could be used instead?

Some Tips If You Are Buying For You

-Just wear it.  You know all of those items that just never call to you when you go to get dressed?  Wear them.  What do you have to lose? You might decide that they look better on than in the closet. 

-Accessorize. Give those old earrings or necklaces another chance.  Yes, I know it might feel silly since you won’t be seeing anyone but if you look good, you feel good.  

-After you have worn all of your clothes, go through them thoughtfully and make piles for specific people who might want them or a specific places you can donate them. Remember to wait until the lockdown is over or check to see if donations are being accepted. 

-For more tips, check out Earth Mama Charlotte’s tips as a former shopaholic. 

Some Tips If You are Buying For Your Kids

*Refresh your kid’s toys by organizing and putting away half of their toys and rotate them every couple of weeks. Be sure to put away some small toys, little cars or figurines as well.

*Once you are ready to rotate the toys back in, pull out the small toys, put them into toilet paper rolls and give them as presents (or bribes).  Kids will love them! 

I used these while traveling over Christmas. I accidentally stumbled upon one recently and my son was SO excited for his “new” toy that he got. Thank goodness for forgotten toys that are new all over again.

*Make your child a part of the process. Talk with them about what you are doing and teach them the value of their things and remind them of WHO gave them what and how much they loved it. 

*Go through your child’s closet and toys and be mindful about what they really need and what can go to a good family or a friend that you know would love it! 

If you still feel like you want to online shop after all of this, I get it.  Just be sure it’s one of those things that you have been meaning to buy and something you need. Make sure you purchase something that is a quality product and not just because it’s cheap.  We will get through this.  And remember the earth will be a better place if we all do our part.  What tips have you used to avoid unnecessary online shopping?

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