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Last weekend while browsing one of my favourite shops in Edmonton, the Southside Goodwill Store, I found myself thinking a lot about my wants versus my needs.
I walked out of the store after purchasing 4 pairs of almost new jeans, a jacket, and 5 tops for the low, low price of $77.00 – it was a steal of a deal and I was thrilled with my purchase. I saved a ton of money……but did I really need any of it?
No….not really. I have plenty of clothing at home, so I definitely didn’t need any of it. I rationalized the purchases with, “you can’t beat that price!” and “I would be crazy to pass up deals like that!” and the most important, "my tush didn't look too horrible (which is difficult to accomplish) in those jeans".
Returning home, my feeling of melancholy continued to plague me………
Here I was, writing about sustainability and the “less versus more” mode of thinking and what do I do? I am out there spending more, buying more, filling my closets with more.
I know, I know….purchasing from a second hand store is a great way to extend the life of an item, keeping it out of the waste stream; thrift/second-hand/Goodwill store's also provide a valuable service to the community. BUT! I still didn’t NEED any of it.
I began to consider what I really DID need and the list was extremely short.
- Fresh water
- A roof over my head
- Clean air to breathe
I do not need more jeans or jackets or tops.
Sustainability is about balancing and prioritizing our needs and wants. It is about making smart choices, taking circumstances into consideration. It is about remembering that every action has a consequence worth thinking about.
My light bulb moment? Something that I am going to try my best to remember in my personal and work life?
"Sometimes when we satisfy a 'want', we make it more difficult to fulfill a need"