Materialism is a cancer that is suppressing our surroundings while we allow large companies to benefit. Not only is materialism dwindling the money in our bank accounts, it seems to be eating at our level of happiness and mother Earth.
Many of us insist on competing with each other to impress our peers in order to gain an immense number of friends. In doing so, we are unable to notice the negative effects of materialism. Materialists are acting as parasites to the Earth and people they are competing with. Many are too busy focusing on their next purchase and do not notice what materialism really costs:
- human labor
- fossil fuels
- increased pollution
- harmful working conditions
- personal relationships
This means that our constant desire for new things is killing the Earth.
Personally, I enjoy my friends for who they are not what they wear or drive. I am also thankful for the natural resources that the Earth provides and the beauty in which it holds. I am no longer allowing materialism to interfere with my relationships with friends and peers. I am also going to focus more on the pleasure the Earth brings to me instead of the items made from its resources. So, instead of splurging on a Michael Kors handbag or a Pandora bracelet, I save my money for trips to the beach and dinner dates with friends. Experiences make us happier than possessions do while also allowing pleasure from the world around us.
I went away to college for my freshman year– almost three hours from home. I knew I had a small dorm room which I had to share. When I began packing for the commute, I realized that I could not possibly take all of my belongings. I had too much stuff. I tried to sort through my items and only take what was necessary, but it seemed impossible. I managed the first two weeks with only the necessities and a few items of attachment. However, every weekend that I visited home I would bring a few more items from home back to my dorm room. After the first semester, I realized that I had a problem. Why did I need so much stuff? The second semester I started bringing things back home during my visits. My room became more organized, and I was able to focus more on my studies and less on the clutter forming amongst the room.
I have since moved back home for college. Last year, I realized the same problem occurring again. I have grown attached to items. It is a must to decrease the amount of belongings. The clutter is distracting to say the least. I have decided on living a more minimal lifestyle. I have slowly been decreasing the number of things I own and items I purchase. I have even given a few things to the local Goodwill.
So far, I have noticed a few improvements in my life.
- less clutter and more organization
- more money to spend/save
- less worries about items lost
- less to clean
- an increase in personal freedom
Jessica, minimalist student, explains in her page Minimal Student, “You don’t have to give up everything, it’s about reducing to what you really need. You can still dress fashionably without wasting money on brands, watch TV that is actually worth watching and drive a car when you need to.” She also discusses her own personal reasons for minimalism and ways to achieve a simpler lifestyle.
A few other blogs to consider are Uberless, Almost Bohemian, and Seeking to Minimalize. Starting today, for every unnecessary item that I purchase, I will get rid of two things I don’t need.