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Consumer Guide to Consuming Less

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Consuming less is all about improving quality of life—for ourselves as well as for the planet. And it doesn’t require a complete conversion to minimalism or living off the grid! All it requires are incremental changes and lifestyle choices that transform how we think about buying and consuming everything from cereal boxes to coffee cups to gardening tools.

Studies have shown, across multiple countries and cultures, that owning less clutter and being more intentional with our purchases—striving for reusable, quality items over quantity and convenience—lowers stress and frees us to practice gratitude more frequently. We transform our focus to appreciating the items we have, which in turn creates a sense of abundance and suppresses the urge for impulse purchases.

Use the suggestions below to avoid unnecessary, excessive, landfill-inflicting, and ultimately unsatisfying purchases. Like all new habits, learning to consume less will take planning and thought as we change the way we think, spend money, and value items.

Easy steps to take today to consume less:

Some key questions to ask yourself as you face even the smallest purchase:

Other pro-tips: