Stop Taking Free Stuff

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Image: pixabay under creative commons

I don’t know what it is about human nature, but most of us have a hard time passing up anything that is free.  It doesn’t matter if we will ever actually use it.  If it is free we want to have it.  You know, because it will be handy.  Because it’s cute.  Because we might need it in the future.

Except we won’t.

Really those free things are not free.  That free bag?  It has the environmental impact of 150 plastic sacks and will sit in the back of your closet.  That free pen?  You have more pens than you could ever use.  That plastic thingamajig?  It doesn’t serve a purpose worthy of the fact that it will never biodegrade.

All these things take a toll on us.  They take a toll on our happiness (take it from a person who has too much stuff and a hard time letting go).  They take a toll on the environment.  They take a toll on the future our children will inherit.  They are absolutely not free.

We would all like it if there was less junk in our world.  Not taking free stuff is actively stemming the tide.  It is simple economics: producers only produce as much as people are willing to buy.  And advertisers won’t buy if they don’t run out of SWAG.  And they won’t run out of it if we don’t take it.

Do you ever take free stuff without giving it much thought?  How do you think being intentional about what you take will affect how often you grab a freebie?

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