Living a healthy lifestyle includes making choices that affect the depth and quality of our engagement with the wider world. Did you know that zero waste and mental health can go hand-and-hand? Our society can lean towards identifying happiness and value in the things that we buy. However, true happiness and value are not found in the amount of things we choose to purchase or possess, but in our relationships and experiences.
Michael Norton and Elizabeth Dunn, authors of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, found that 57 percent of Americans reported that the experiential purchase made them happier than the material purchase, while only 34 percent reported the opposite. Valuing experiences over material items promotes waste reduction and supports positive mental health. Instead of buying an item that could likely end up in the garbage, purchase an adventure that will build lasting memories.
Material Purchase Excitement Wears Off
Greenpeace published an International Fashion Consumption Survey and found that overconsumption of fashion is an international phenomenon. Those surveyed, from Europe and Asia, are no longer shopping because they need something. Greenpeace reports that almost half of Chinese consumers buy more than they can afford – and more than makes them happy, and around 40 percent shop compulsively more than once a week. The survey found that consumer motivation is the longing for excitement, satisfaction, and confidence in front of others, but that around 50 percent report that their shopping excitement wears off within a day, and that one-third of East Asians feel even more empty and unfulfilled afterwards.
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