Energy Diet

Consuming Less and Better

When I began to think about my consumption habit changes these days, it occurred to me how much less often I’ve been to Carrefour or Wal-Mart since I began this blog. Have you ever found that if you go to the supermarket, there is a great probability you buy some extra things that you don’t really need?

When I realize this, I go to the park or the riverside to take a walk instead of going into the supermarket. That does make me buy fewer things, and the leisure time has been more fun.

In addition to going shopping less often, I also change what I buy. For us students, food, clothes and books account for large parts of consumption, at least in the case of me. In the former post, I’ve talked about food consumption, changes in which have made my health get better.

Well, talking about clothes consumption, I’ve been feeling my way all my college years. After going to college, I had to buy clothes without parents’ guidance, which is kind of difficult for me. You know, in China our burden in high school is very heavy and we don’t have time for almost anything except studying. In my freshman year, things I bought couldn’t be worn within a month or two. They either looked ugly after a short time or wore out easily.

That made me realize that it’s as important to learn about how to live and take care of myself as it is to learn how to solve a math problem or to appreciate a poem. Now I finally can satisfy myself at least and also buy at a reasonable price. That has also made me buy less and reduce consumption. Congratulations to me — I even can mend my clothes when they wear out, which saves me lots of money and reduce waste.

Because I’m a book worm, I also spend a lot on books. I love paper books, but I also know that they cost a lot of wood and harm the earth to some degree. They are also heavy, expensive, and take a lot of room in my small dorm. As my room gets more and more crowded, I begin to think about buying a Kindle, which is so expensive for me that I have to save money for it.

Until I can finally get a Kindle, I have started to buy second-hand books in the book stands. They not only help to recycle and reduce waste, but also save expenses for me.

What’s more, if you search the book stands carefully, you can find some rare versions of books, which makes for a great surprise.

Apart from what the above items, I also do things such as buying gel refills rather than buying lots of ballpoint pens, thus saving lots of pen shells. I also make wall decorations out of beautiful pictures from brochures and posters. Whenever I go out and possibly buy something, I will take a bag with me so I won’t need a plastic bag.

All these acts I have performed make my life simpler and easier. I really love this.


  1. Christina Nunez
    June 20, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Zong, you bring up something that’s really rampant in the States, which is the idea of “disposable clothing” — clothing that isn’t disposable, really, but is so cheap or trendy that it’s worn out after a season. Like with everything, it can be hard to hold out and spend more on something that will last versus something cheap and fun you can have right now — I’m still trying to do it.

  2. Chad Lipton
    June 21, 2011, 9:58 am

    Zong–Your supermarket concept rings true. I’ve almost never left a supermarket with only the things on my list. I end up with too much food at home and then my family claims we have “nothing” to eat. It’s an interesting phenomena. It seems that over-consumption is a perspective as well as a serious problem.

  3. Ranga
    Chennai, India
    June 22, 2011, 7:37 am

    Excellent wayto reduce cost and happy living. Making Best out of available is the most effective of life.
    Congradulations dong.

  4. Zong Yu Dorm
    June 23, 2011, 7:05 am

    I’m so happy to see your comments. Actually, sometimes I think low consumption means freedom to some degree. I’ve been taking a part-time job as an English tutor since I got in college, and unconsciously I buy more after I get the wages. Last month I quitted my job and refused two other invitations after a self-reflection.Since then I have got more time to study my own courses and get more conscious when shopping. Though I can’t buy some things I want, but I realize I can still be happy and lead a contented life without them.

  5. […] [Reducing consumption] made me realize that it’s as important to learn about how to live and take care of myself as it is to learn how to solve a math problem or to appreciate a poem [as a student]. – Zong […]