Why you’re never really happy about the things you buy anymore

via Popular Science

It’s not the act of getting a bargain that’s so damaging, it’s the endless cycle of seeking them out. Instead of valuing the items they’ve purchased, people are thriving on the thrill of the deal. But that little burst of adrenaline you get from scoring a bargain fades pretty quickly, and soon you’re itching for your next fix. Yarrows calls it “the biggest psychological landmine for consumers right now.”

A bargain pulls on your heartstrings in a way that few, if any, sales tactics do anymore, and they’re being used in an orchestrated fashion that ends up undermining what’s valuable about shopping. Adding something truly useful and enjoyable to your life isn’t shallow consumerism. Purchasing an item that makes your day-to-day life more comfortable or beautiful can be a real joy, and we should embrace that side of the shopping equation. But as Yarrow puts it, bargains are “robbing people from truly picking products that they’ll love.”

So. True.

“Buy 3 get 1 free!” signs would tempt shoppers to buy 3 when all they needed was 1. Yours truly included. Then homes would be filled with more and more unwanted stuff.

It has been such a relief since I resolutely stopped shopping years ago. Sale signs do tug at me, but simply reminding myself why “No more shopping!” helped me to walk away. Initially it was a struggle, but with time and consistent practice (as with anything), it is much easier.

Buying only things that we need and giving away unwanted items has made the house easier to clean and keep organised!

Delivering More Groceries, and Fewer Boxes

via New York Times

“They didn’t object to boxes,” he said, “but when they received a box with one or two things in it, that felt wasteful. They said, ‘Why do you have to send a big box with a piece of cheese?’ ”

Next year, the company will stop using cardboard boxes altogether, Mr. Ackerman said. It will pack the orders in paper bags and pack the bags in reusable plastic boxes that will keep the bags from getting crushed on the trucks. At a customer’s apartment, he said, the driver will take the bag out of the plastic box and take the box back to FreshDirect to be cleaned and reused.

Switching from cardboard boxes to paper bags will cut the amount of pulp FreshDirect uses by half, Mr. Ackerman said. “This is being environmentally responsible,” he said.

Applaud FreshDirect, who has links to RedMart, for making the move to reduce packaging!

We get our groceries delivered via RedMart almost weekly. 99% of our orders consist of fresh produce. I could wax lyrical about RedMart, but next time la.

We’ve (or rather me) made a commitment to reduce the amount of plastic that we consume, hence we usually have a resuable canvas bag when we go out so any shopping can go inside. However, RedMart deliveries come with many plastic bags, sometimes one item per bag. Thankfully months ago, RedMart’s plastic bags have changed to biodegradable plastic. Though I wouldn’t mind if no plastic bags were given at all.

Of Menstrual cups and reusable menstrual pads

Was idly walking around a shop with Friend A when we chanced upon the Freedom Cup. She casually wondered aloud how it was used and I excitedly said “oh I’m wearing it now!” Too much information indeed. On hindsight, I would probably have said the same thing to an acquaintance because that’s how excited I am about making sustainable choices!

That started a really long conversation on my reusable menstrual products journey that began about 3 years ago thanks to a chance conversation with a Canadian friend (bless her!).

Friend A encourage me to share more about the products that I’ve used and am exploring so here goes!

Menstrual Cups (in chronological order of acquisition)

  1. Diva cup
    Can’t recall exactly why I chose this cup or that it was the only cup available at the supermarket, but it was the first cup that I used. The other half helped me purchase it in Canada, then brought it over to Singapore. This cup served me very well, i.e. no leaks, for 1+ year before leaks started occurring. Usually cups can be used for 5 years or even longer, so I was surprised and assumed that my body had changed.

  2. Super Jennie
    By then, a Singapore company started selling menstrual cups, so I purchased the Super Jennie (Large). Why Large? I thought that perhaps my flow was getting heavy, hence the leaks. Sadly, after a few months, a micro tear occurred in the Super Jennie. I realised it when a slight sharp pain occurred when wearing the Super Jennie. Closer inspection revealed the micro tear. So this cup was retired.

  3. Freedom Cup
    Not wanting to spend lot after splashing a bomb on the Super Jennie, I discovered the Freedom Cup, SGD30. Sadly leaks still occur. Research revealed that some women simply just leak no matter water, so I felt resigned to it.

  4. Me Luna
    After watching Amy Nix’s Youtube video reviews of the Me Luna, I decided to purchase it. Gut feel told me that quality-wise, the Freedom Cup was just a temporary solution and Amy gave a fantastic review of the Me Luna. Also, I’m doing regular pilates now, so decided to get the Me Luna Sport which is stiffer.

Tip: Due to US regulations, the Me Luna is more expensive from the USA site. I checked other international sites in Asia for cheaper shipping, but they did not have the Me Luna Sport available. Purchasing it from the Europe site meant shipping costed approx SGD11, bringing the total bill to approx SGD33. CHEAP!

Also it was shipped out the day after the order was placed. Efficient!

Reusable Menstrual Pads

Amy Nix has many fantastic youtube videos of introducing people to menstrual pads, how to wash them, why they are better, etc. I binged watched them. She explains clearly, logically and concisely. She clearly explains the pros and cons of products while bearing in mind that the products might not suit some women and takes extra care to highlight their unsuitability.

Thanks to her, I started considering reusable menstrual pads for my leaks. I had previously purchased and used Period Underwear, but it was definitely more pricey and I wanted a cheaper alternative.

  1. EcoFemme Reusable Cloth Night Pad
    On Amy’s advice, the first purchase was a night pad because it’s better to “withstand” the heaviest flow first to test one’s suitability to cloth pads, then purchase the rest of the cloth pads.

This pad convinced me of what Amy had been repeating in her videos:
a. Cloth pads do not smell
b. Cloth pads are more comfortable than disposables

Unfortunately, the length of this Night Pad is insufficiently long, so I hunted online for longer lengths.

  1. Yurtcraft from USA
    Amy highlights her love for Yurtcraft pads in many of her videos. However, Yurtcraft’s shipping fees to Singapore is… very high. I’m also not a fan of the brightly coloured styles. Putting this link here in case anyone else would like to try!

  2. Sweet Touch from Taiwan
    Googling around led me to Taiwanese makers of cloth pads. Sweet Touch’s prices are similar to Yurtcraft, but with cheaper shipping. I’m currently deciding between Sweet Touch and the next maker, Cherry P.

  3. Cherry P
    I really like Cherry P’s subtler designs. The pricing is slightly cheaper than Sweet Touch, which adds up when one has to purchase multiple pads. As Cherry P’s international shipping charges is not very clear, I’ve dropped them an email to clarify, then will decide who to purchase from!

Pathological consumption

via George Monbiot

Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it.

….

Bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss, tell them a joke, but for god’s sake stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care. All it shows is that you don’t.

Just.Read.It.

What Mongolian Nomads Teach Us About the Digital Future

via Wired

People who pack up and transport their house twice a year become choosy about their possessions. I recently traveled among the nomads of Mongolia for two weeks and had a chance to inspect their belongings.

I think we’ll cruise through the future with empty pockets. I won’t need to carry my phone because I should be able to lift up any screen anywhere and have it immediately became my tool, my screen. It recognizes me from my face, voice, heartbeat, and transforms itself into my phone interface. When I am done, I leave that screen where it was…

The environment, if it is rich and well-cared for and understood, shall provide.

The takeaways of using less, making fewer things count more and trusting that the environment will amaze and care for us.

Hark the cries of “hipster!’

Ok, applying this in an urban setting, cloud services allow one’s entire computer to crash and then get back up and working within half a hour. How? Every software and file on that computer was downloaded from and backed up to a cloud. Staff can just request a new computer from IT department, download software and files, then get back up and working!

Look at what formal dress rentals and wardrobe rentals (e.g. StyleTheory) offer – an opportunity to reduce the sizes of wardrobes while refreshing what we wear. Unless you’re like me who always wears the same dress to weddings (surprisingly no one has noticed, or if they have, no one has commented), and still has a ton of clothes to get rid of!

We could all benefit from having fewer belongings (less cleaning, yay!), smaller homes (less mortgage, yay!) and reducing our carbon footprint.

‘Death Cleaning’ Is the Newest Way to Declutter

via Time Health

… people should start thinking about death cleaning as soon as they’re old enough to start thinking about their own mortality. “Don’t collect things you don’t want,” she says. “One day when you’re not around anymore, your family would have to take care of all that stuff, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Death cleaning may have benefits for the cleaners themselves, and not just for their loved ones, says Goldhaber. Some research suggests that clutter in the home can raise stress levels and reduce productivity. As adults get older, having a house full of stuff may also raise their risk for falls and create other health and safety hazards.

A different way of thinking about getting rid of clutter at home. Sure as heck don’t want to be a pain to whoever has to get rid of my belongings when I pass on!

Having lived in a house filled with things, I was adament that my house would not be the same.

Easier said than done.

The ever-supportive other half cheered with every item I removed as we moved from one country to another.

So glad when a friend visited and marvelled, “wow you all really have little stuff!”

Still making progress!