buy less, waste less: here’s how

I’ll be honest. I’ve never physically gone Black Friday shopping. When I was younger it sounded like so much fun — staying up all night, drinking hot chocolate and waiting in lines with your friends and family for the newest phone or laptop or book.

But as I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve tried to limit my “need” for STUFF, I have literally no desire to shop on Black Friday.

Now don’t get me wrong — I don’t think it’s inherently wrong to snag some dope deals today. But I think there’s another way to gift some quality items this year for the holiday without filling your shopping cart with God-knows what at Target and Best Buy.

I’m planning on writing a more in-dept post about what Mike and I are gifting this year, but essentially — we’re making most of our presents.


I’ve recently become a Young Living essential oil distributor and I’ve found so many ways to utilize some of the best oils on the market to make quality products for my family and friends.

But for some people — like my mom — who is allergic to all things plant-related, I’m opting for something else. I won’t be just making her a present this year; I’ll be buying something for her.

My plan? Support small businesses.

I think a misconception of minimalism and zero waste living is that you can’t buy anything. But that’s not necessarily true.

Sure, the general idea is to limit what you buy, but no one is saying you can’t buy things and treat yourself.

The idea is more-so if you do choose to buy something, make sure you’re spending your money sustain-ably and responsibly.

Minimalism would say to pay a little extra money for an electric toothbrush, because they last for a long time. Zero wasters would say buy a bamboo toothbrush because even though you’ve still gotta replace them every few months, they’re almost entirely compostable.

Two different views — both with serious merit.

And, not to mention, either way, you’re buying something.

Here’s my general rule of thumb when it comes to buying things:

If you can — buy local and support small business — and your local economy; buy secondhand; or make your own stuff if possible.

Sure, a mug from your local handmade ceramics shop will cost you a few bucks more… but you’re not only pouring your money into craftsmanship, you’re benefiting your local community and you know — for the most part — how your product was made and whether or not you can stand by it.

Yes, I still shop at Target for certain products. I’m not saying you should completely veto shopping at commercial stores. That’s not for me to decide — that’s on you.

What I am saying is that when you can — choose local. If you’re looking for a gift for your parents, your quirky aunt or your nieces and nephews — check out your local small businesses.

I guarantee you’ll find quality products that are unlike anything your family and friends will receive this holiday.

And, you’re putting your money in a sustainable place. That’s exciting stuff!

Shop Small this holiday season and support Small Business Saturday. It’s not about feeling all warm and fuzzy inside from buying a product that’s made by refugees or a craftsman down the street — it’s about being wise stewards and ensuring that if you’re going to spend money, it’s going somewhere good.

Happy shopping!

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