As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, this is a good time to reflect on our purchasing habits. It turns out that conspicuous consumption doesn’t just hurt the planet, it may also hurt our mental well-being.
A study by the University of Arizona found that those who pass up purchases report higher personal well-being and lower psychological distress. It seems sometimes the best environmentally friendly purchasing decisions mean not purchasing at all.
It becomes an issue of: “Do I need that” versus “Do I simply want that?” When we respond to high-pressure advertising and the temptation to “keep up with the Jones,” we tend to buy more “stuff.” But what happens to our old “stuff?” Will it end up in an over-flowing landfill or be incinerated and contribute to global warming?
This month is a good time for us to rethink how we shop. Whether buying or selling our items at consignment shops or simply choosing to “take a pass” on this month’s latest and greatest marketing campaign, we can help the Earth and ourselves.

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