consumerism - values are like lighthouses

Beliefs, Values and Buying – How to Align Them in Your Own Life

Most of us do not realize how often our beliefs, values, and traditions play out in our lives because they are so deeply entrenched. Have you thought about if your day to day habits, your buying habits and how you live in your home actually align with your values and beliefs? 

Thinking is Changing

Mainstream thinking is changing. Ideas around what people consider green, eco-friendly, and environmentally friendly have advanced over the last decade. Your own values and beliefs may be changing. How you want to live in your home and live your life may be changing. Have you thought about it? 

Personally, I feel pretty solid in my personal values and beliefs, yet a lot of introspection through some rough years really helped me to solidify my beliefs especially. Then, a recent cancer diagnosis (we caught it super early, thank goodness), was a wake up call. I realized there were still things I wanted to do, yet I had not done them – too much going on, the additional cost or even researching what would be the best solution for us. My cancer diagnosis (on top of my husband’s health after multiple brain surgeries) was the push we needed to get some of these other things done – to get more aligned with our beliefs. It is an ongoing process, for sure! 

Getting your beliefs and values to work for you starts with a personal evaluation. Once you know your beliefs and values, take action and do whatever you can to live up to what you believe and value.

For your home and how you live in it, the first step is to understand that your home affects your health and the health of everyone who lives there. What you buy and bring into your home and use, also affects health. Our choices are not made in a vacuum either, so each individual impact on our own personal health, likely has an impact on the health of your entire community and even our world. 

No wonder this is all starting to tie together!!!

Buying, Consumerism and Waste 

People tend to use a lot more stuff today than they did in my mother and grandmother’s time. So now we live in a very consumer-focused culture and consumerism is a major driver of our economic health. 

My grandmother grew up in the depression with a waste not, want not mentality. My parents were children during World War 2 and teenagers in the 1950s. Their young lives  went from a scarcity of materials to a booming economy in the next decade where money and products were abundantly available.

The economy was put back on track in the 1950s by pumping money into manufacturing goods and creating jobs for the soldiers returning from the war. And the pace of innovations and new, exciting products accelerated. 

I remember when soda came out in plastic bottles, and we loved them because they did not break. At the time, we had no idea of the impact it would have, and how that convenience would later merge with consumerism.

In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a growing feeling of coming of age because of all the new products and innovations that were coming out, and people thought they needed those things to have a good life. As life began to speed up in the following decades, people thought they needed more convenience items.

Now there are so many product choices that it is often overwhelming. Along with many others, we have changed how we shop to more closely align with our values and focus on getting better quality items, and fewer choices. 

Generations 

It’s interesting to see how differently younger generations look at things. There seems to be less emphasis on stuff with younger people. There currently seems to be less emphasis on things and more on the experience. Living a simpler life with fewer things to maintain leaves you with much more time to do the things you want.  Another value that seems to be more prominent with younger generations. 

Give yourself some grace

Just getting started doing better for you, your family and friends and even clients and customers. Taking that first step is the hardest. None of us are perfect, so learn to be okay with doing whatever you can, as much as you can. I do my best to follow how I want to do things 80% of the time and give myself grace for the other 20%. Remember to give yourself grace and that you also need to give grace to others.

Start small

When you decide to take action, start small. Pick three things that you can do better, and stick with them. (I chose to use only LED light bulbs, green cleaning products, and tree-free toilet paper in my home.)  The goal is for most of the things you bring into your home should be made from natural, sustainable (renewable), or responsible materials. Remember, this is a journey and it happens over time. Do as much as you can and celebrate the little things!  Just remember that you want your decisions for your home and living in it to stay in line with what you believe and value.

 

Resources and Referral links:

My website Green Home Coach

Everyday Green Home Shop for curated better and green products I hand select

Book: Living Green Effortlessly

Learn how to make your home healthier for you and our world in my Love Your Everyday Green Home

Instagram & Facebook: @greenhomecoach

Does Greener Living Support Your Values? 

EPA Buying Green for Consumers

The 4th R – Refuse 

Shop Your Values 

Right to Repair 

Good Better Best: Cutting Your Consumer Carbon Footprint 

Right to Repair Revisited

Flushing Trees Down the Toilet 

 

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. That means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I believe in and usually use myself.”

 

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