I was intrigued when I first saw A Life Less Throwaway featured over on Leah’s blog (or maybe it was Insta) and decided to add it to my list of “personal growth” books (I guess it would be growth by consuming less, lol). I didn’t know much about the book except from what I could garner from the title since I’m not familiar with the Buymeonce.com website. And no, it’s not about zero waste as I initially thought, but rather about buying to last. This of course is the goal for anyone looking for a more minimal and less wasteful life. And I think overall this book is great as a refresher or motivator for shopping less and making do with what you have. But there’s not really any novel ideas or any life-changing hacks. For those of us that’s been on this (very long) journey towards less stuff and more mindfulness, a lot of these concepts are things we are familiar with. However these principles below are some great reminders on the road to less.
1) Mindful Curation
Mindful curation “releases us from the trivial, the bland and the shoddy, and [helps us live] a life where our objects perfectly match our needs, pull their weight, reflect their our values and put a smile on our face.” This chapter was a lot about how to be mindful of our consumption as well as resisting advertising (the author has a background in advertising and lets us in on all the tactics companies try to get us to buy more). She advocates “fighting aesthetic waste by finding your true taste” by sitting down and thinking where your taste lies (modern, boho, colorful, simple?). She also talks about "ad blocking” when shopping by telling yourself “I have everything I need to be happy” while walking around the mall or browsing the internet. She also touches upon a capsule closet to resist buying fast fashion.
2) Finding Your Purpose
Of course one of the easiest ways to resist mindless consumption is to redirect your attention to your “purpose” in life. In general, she advocates doing other things you love instead of shopping though of course this is easier said than done. She suggests listing 12 things you’ve always wanted to do (some examples for me include doing more yoga, volunteering, reading more, etc.) and focusing on doing one a month. Or also writing a mission statement so that you can evaluate whether or not each purchase aligns with your mission.
3) Resist Impulse Purchases
And then she has a couple of shopping hacks to prevent impulse shopping. These include writing an unwish list (a list of things you will never buy), thinking about the use of results/use of items before purchasing, purchasing from a position of strength (when you feel great about yourself as opposed to when stressed or feeling low), knowing your shopping triggers, and purchasing with patience. Again all useful refresher points but nothing revolutionary.
The book also has some good resources on items that are meant to last (so what you should buy). And in general it’s a great refresher on working towards a more minimal life. If you’re interested in reading this book for yourself, I’d love to pass this copy onto a reader of the blog. So just enter the form below if you’d like this book and I’ll pick a winner and mail them this book! Giveaway ends next Sunday midnight and winner will be announced Monday!