Mostly, our consuming is down to one of the following:
1. Basic need, shelter, warmth and food
2. Wellbeing and happiness
3. Attracting attention
4. Reinforcing our sense of belonging and identity
5. Giving social status
6. Out of habit, that’s so familiar we don’t notice we’re doing it.
Part of the solution to living more sustainably and breaking this cycle lies in understanding why we consume: how we all have more ‘stuff’ than we need and why we acquired it.
Every choice we make is subject to the temptations of consumer therapy, whether it’s the newest technology, the latest model of this or that, or shopping to feel better, be it clothes, food or alcohol or desiring a change of scene, climate or culture. We engage in this to feel better and here’s the rub. At best it does, but only for a short time and then we need to do it all again. It’s this repetition we’re addicted to and is so resource hungry.
Sustainable activities and awareness training can help us re-balance our emotional triggers: more nature, more arts and crafts, more exercise, more contemplation practices, more music, more care, more creativity. Rather than giving up our pleasures, directing our attention in these ways can enable us to find more appreciation and awareness to fully enjoy ourselves without the emotional driver to addictively repeat them quite so often.