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Too much stuff?

Zu viel Zeug?

Let’s face it: Most of us have way too many things. When have we reached the point of having too much? When we own more than what makes us feel good. The average number of things in German households is 10.000. I’m wondering who found out that number? How many people had to count their things and had a mental breakdown while doing so? Because that’s what happens if you look closely.

I know you don’t like to think about that but it’s probably still a burden to you. Do you know that uneasy feeling when you’re procrastinating an important task? It’s exhausting, the same way too much stuff is exhausting to your psyche. You even have to tidy up, clean and work more to sustain all that stuff.

We’re suffering and the environment is suffering as well. Recently I’ve been to Morocco and had a guide translate the inscription of an old university to me. It said in Arabic:

„Care for the planet as if you lived forever and care for your life as if it was your last day.“

Isn’t that beautiful? A great motto to live by and to stop buying and hoarding. When you die, you can’t take all that stuff with you anyway so until then why don’t you try these three ways to consume less.

1. Don't buy stuff.

Haha, right, that’s a no-brainer. But seriously, it’s a good idea to be mindful about buying things. Before you buy something ask yourself: Do I really need this? Do I already have something similar at home? Would my life be senseless without this? I can promise you, 90 % of the time it has no impact on your happiness whether you buy something or not. It just doesn’t matter. You can do very well without.

2. Do it yourself.

There are things you need to have in order to not put off other people. Deodorant is one of those things. Fortunately, you don’t even have to go to the drugstore to buy some. You can mix it yourself with these simple ingredients: water, natron, starch, tea tree oil (you can find recipes online). It’s cheap and it really works (been testing it myself for 6 months!). Deodorant is just an example, there are thousands of things you can make yourself instead of buying them: the fancy Iced Latte Java Chip from the coffee shop, decoration for your child’s birthday, a simple shelf or even your socks if you’re into knitting. The nice side effect: You can be as creative as you want.

3. Share.

You don’t have to own everything you use. In times of Shared Economy it’s super easy to share things. Cars, tools, gardens, sports equipment, guest sofas – there are two ways to find out, what kind of treasures lie buried in your neighbors’ basement: go over and ask them or search online (via Facebook or community sites). You can even borrow and share amazing, sustainable clothing nowadays. So what about the FLSK drinking bottle? You can share it, too: With your family, your roommates or your co-workers. Or you just keep it for yourself. That‘s okay too. The most important thing when it comes to sustainability is: Have fun and stay cool.