If you couldn’t tell, I’ve decided to entitle my random riffs, “Mustafa's Musings.” I’m ripping this from "Musings of a Moose:" the title of a column I had in the sports section of my college’s newspaper. I’m kinda over the nickname Moose, hence the rebrand.
My musing this week is about your New Year’s resolutions that you’re about to share in a few days' time with those closest to you.
You’re planning on telling them you’re going to read one book a month (may I recommend, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”), or you’re pledging to lose weight (I’m right there with you), which is great and all, but I’ve got one more for you to tack on.
Now say it with me here, and preferably out loud in the presence of others so they can hold you accountable.
“In 2022 I will be a slightly more conscious consumer.”
I know what you’re thinking. “Damnit! Mustafa is trying to sucker me in on some sustainability nonsense. I filled out that survey he pushed me on and let him know that I don’t want to read about his recycling habits.”
I know, I know. How about I keep this short, like under 500 words? Without impugning my word count anymore, here are some really low-bar ways to be more sustainable in 2022 through some slight modifications in your consumption behavior.
Just Say No: We get offered free stuff all the time, and our immediate reaction is to grab all of it. It’s even worse when it’s something that your brain thinks is sustainable. For the love of God, you do not need another cheap tote bag with some B2B software company’s logo on it—you already have more tote bags than you can possibly use. Just say no, and keep it moving.
Buy Items With Less Packaging: It still is inconceivable to me that you can go to Stop & Shop and buy a plastic container with pre-cut apples. Don’t be that person who’s too lazy to spend 70 seconds cutting an apple and washing a cutting board. Also, cut apples go bad quicker, and apples are unequivocally better crisp.
Purchase Used Books: When you’re shopping to fulfill your resolution of reading more books in 2022, try out Thriftbooks instead of Amazon. The books are used, and they come in a minimal amount of recyclable packaging. Buying more used items is key to increasing the circularity of products.
The other option is you could also use the library. That being said, I’m the only person I know who is in his mid-30s, has no kids, and has a library card. For some reason convincing y’all to rent books for gratis seems far more difficult than shopping on Thriftbooks.
As promised I’m getting out of here sub 500 words. Enjoy your New Year’s.
The first content series, "712 Hayes," will start on January 10th.
This essay was edited by Mustafa Shaikh. Please blame all grammar errors on him.