Leading a sustainable life is difficult especially more so when the content you consume on Youtube, TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms do very little to promote sustainability. I realize now that a lot of my consumerism was driven by the content I consumed. Watching bloggers in pretty dresses in their travel photos would make me want to shop before each vacation of mine. I’ve tried to steer clear of some “types” of content that help me not fall into the loop of consumerism and waste. So here are some types of content to avoid to make it easier to follow a sustainable lifestyle –
I. Shopping Haul Videos
5 basics from Zara/H&M/Shein/<Insert Brand> that you need now/can buy for less than INR500/are perfect for the summer and all other shopping hauls
This is the main type of content that I avoid watching. I’m not going to lie – I have watched thousands of shopping hauls – every single kind of haul video that is out there. But honestly there is so much that is wrong with these types of videos.
- The basic issue with these videos is that they promote consumerism. Obviously most of these videos are sponsored and are a way to promote the brand. They make you feel like you NEED to buy these “in trend”/”must have”/”basics” or your wardrobe/home is incomplete.
- It promotes debt. A lot of people that can’t afford these “must have” brands and end up buying these products on their credit card just because they are so heavily promoted.
- Most of these videos do not promote sustainable brands, products or way of life.
Exception: A thrifted shopping haul!
II. Shopping Challenges Videos
I bought all the cheapest items/weirdest items/worst rated items on XXX website, I bought all the products on my IG/FB ads, etc.
I used to enjoy these videos a lot but they are just wasteful because –
- The worst/weirdest/ lowest rated product challenge – most of these products are either bad quality or just plain weird and not useful at all to the blogger.
- The most expensive/highly rated product challenge – we all have our individual styles and just because an item is expensive or highly rated doesn’t mean it matches the blogger’s style
A lot of bloggers say they’re going to donate the products from the challenge – does any one needy really want a pair of wonky heels that you can barely walk 2 steps in? Other than the product being wasteful – a lot of resources are wasted in packing and shipping that product which adds to the blogger’s carbon footprint and the product isn’t even used! Most YouTubers make multiple videos around these challenge, so you can imagine the amount of waste that is generated.
Exception: Flipping return palettes – if you aren’t aware some companies buy returned products from Amazon (and other sites) and sell them as pallets to consumers. These pallets have some good products, some broken ones and some that need work. Buying these products ensures that these products don’t go to waste lying around in a warehouse. If you’re interested – linking a sample video.
III. Make-up Challenges Videos –
I mixed all my lipsticks/eye shadows/ foundations together
Again this is just plain wasteful. This is one challenge that I haven’t understood. Why would you want to waste perfectly good make-up by mixing it together? Such content just promotes frivolous wastefulness. My guess is that if we don’t watch such content, influencers won’t do such challenges because of lesser views.
I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but not watching shopping hauls has helped reduce my impulsive shopping A LOT. Similarly, I know my not watching challenge videos may not do a lot for the influencer’s views but it’s a start.
“Little drops of water, little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean and the vast desert.”
What is something small that you’re doing to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle?
Read more about my sustainability journey here.
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Checkout my sustainable brand Moksha. (Available in India)