Quite a number of people are gradually changing the perception they have about consumption. People are gradually beginning to drift towards “doing more with less”. Just in case you have not heard, minimalism is the practice of addressing your needs strictly without entertaining your unnecessary wants in their true sense. This does not only save you time, it also prevents your pocket from shrinking too fast.
A lot of us buy what we do not need, only to end up throwing it out after a long time. The popular Mile 12 market was featured a few years ago to be have recorded 45% of the waste that is generated as food waste and The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 233 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were hungry/undernourished in 2014-6. That is for food.
How about clothes? I was speaking with a friend who is getting married soon and was quite impressed by her stand on 3 things to be used for the wedding – her ring, her shoes and her wedding dress. She told me she would be trading off her engagement ring in exchange for a new wedding ring instead buying a new one and keeping the other for inventory. Her shoes were bought on sale and were as simply designed that she cold wear them for other occasions. Lastly, her wedding is so simply designed that it would pass for any other evening occasion.
I know a lot of ladies would disagree with me on the wedding accessories but I have a question. What drives the quest for all the expensive stuff attached to a wedding ceremony? Its mostly societal pressure and the feeling of belonging to a particular class. A lot of us have our closets full of clothes we have not touched for years ( I mean it) and we still find ourselves spending precious time trying to figure out what to wear. We do not just subject ourselves to mental stress but we also waste time and energy that could have been spent on other productive things.
One popular Nigerian actor was recently quoted to have defied the celebrity norm of impressing society by wearing expensive designer clothes and shoes. He was reported to decided henceforth to go for comfortable, simply designed clothes with or without the labels. People care a lot about how they are perceived with respect to material things. The race continues to be tougher and competition is stiffer such that people forget to live. They toil day and night, get their hands in dirty stuff just to get the new designer shoes to show off on IG and Snapchat and when the expected attention is not gotten they feel like they have failed then become suicidal.
If we can get the right perception about living, to tackle waste in all its form would become issue. We would have a society that has its people to be conscious consumers, getting only what they need thus reducing what goes into trash.