How much stuff do we really need?
In the past thirty years, humans have consumed over one-third of Earth's natural resources. Our culture of stuff - making stuff, buying stuff, and throwing away stuff - has had an enormous and destructive impact on the environment.
We all like to have our favorite things - clothes, toys, technology, books, etc. But, sometimes it's easy to buy more than we need. And, everything we buy has an impact on the planet - from the pollution and greenhouse gas emissions of factories where items are made, to the environmental impacts of transportation, to the plastic packaging so many items come in. Buying less is proven to have a larger impact on the environment than buying "green" products.
And, like anything else, it gets easier with practice.
Choose a week (or a month) with your family where you will buy nothing but essentials (food, electricity, gas, etc).
Keep track of your family's progress in your journal or on loose paper: How does it feel to just say no when it comes to buying new things? Can you trade or barter with a friend for something you want but don't need? Have you found ways to get something "new to you" like hand-me-down clothes? Instead of eating at a restaurant or bakery, can you make a special treat at home?
Take a photo of you working on your task for the week and share it on social media. Make sure to tag @peancorg and #PEAYoungLeaders to be entered into the weekly Young Eco Leaders Raffle.
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