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3 Ways to Reduce Consumerism During Ramadan

In Muslim-majority countries, Ramadan consumption increases during this month of restraint. Alin Halimatussadiah wrote in The Conversation, that this happens not only in high-income countries, such as Qatar and United Arab Emirates, but also in developing countries such as Indonesia. Traditions that spur consumerism during Ramadan and preparations for Eid Fitr, the end of Ramadan, drive this trend. For instance, the presumption to wear new and lavish dresses for Eid Fitr, the annual mass exodus tradition ‘mudik’, which includes feast and family gathering in one’s hometown.

Ramadan is a significant momentum to purify our mind and body, also taking care of others as well. Fasting doesn’t only mean to restrain from hunger and thirst, but also refrain from overbuying. This Ramadan would be a golden opportunity for Indonesian Muslims to consider making a shift towards a ‘green lifestyle’ that is environmentally friendly and aims towards sustainable consumption and production patterns. 

We celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd. Ramadan coincides with the momentum to save the earth by minimizing our spending, whilst saving on our religious holiday bonus (THR). The eco-friendly lifestyle could help us reach a better quality of life. By saving our natural resources, we could also implement the sustainable consumption and production pattern.

During Ramadan, it’s not impossible to to reduce our spending and utilize what we have. Check out what are the ways we could start on refraining from overspending for Eid!

Recheck your wardrobe

Decluttering comes together with clothes audit. (Source: Pinterest)

Many of us seem to get bored quickly with what we have, especially when it comes to fashion. We buy clothes following the trend, wear it for 2-3 occasions, then bury it in the back of the drawer then just forget about it. Trust me, you don’t need that many clothes, especially when you work from home. In this Ramadan, don’t immediately think we don’t have anything good to wear for Eid. We could spend our free time doing a clothes audit. Sort the old but good clothes, mix and match with other clothes. The curated attire could be this year’s Ramadan outfit!

Fight the temptations to buy things you don’t need

Sale is everywhere around the corner when it’s almost Eid Fitr. (Source: courtesy of Agung Rahmat P)

People spend more during Ramadan – mainly on food and beverages, but also on clothing. In the second year of the pandemic, the economic activity is growing better than in 2020. The retail industry is taking advantage of this momentum to set things on sale. Deals and sales are great, but refraining from reckless shopping would definitely save you more.

To avoid impulse buying, check the sale and deals list, then ask yourself some questions: do I really need this? Would this be beneficial for my life? If you decide to buy things that have an expiration date like food and beverages, make sure to finish them off before their date to avert food waste. Think again before you buy things on sale.

Mindful Eating

After almost 13 hours of fasting, more often than not we go binge eating during iftar. This can cause an upset stomach. Eventually, we went full without finishing up the feast. This is one of the more reasons why food waste increases during Ramadan. We buy too many iftar dishes than we can consume. 

This year we could start on practicing mindful eating. It is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits.

Start on buying your own groceries and choose to cook rather than buying. By estimating you and your family’s consumption, there’d be no food waste necessary. Try to understand the food in front of you. Think about the journey it has made to be on your plate. From seedlings which took months to grow and ready to harvest, going through a complex distribution process until it reached the market, then we bought them and turned them into delicacies. Chew slowly, take small bites, and don’t rush your meals. Bring all your senses to the meals. When you’re cooking, serving, and eating your food, be attentive to colour, texture, aroma, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them. As you chew your food, try identifying all the ingredients, especially seasonings. Therefore, you can appreciate your food.

Mindfulness helps us to practice sustainable consumption and production. Let’s make this Ramadan a meaningful one, by trying to reduce our consumerism and starting mindfulness.

Written by: Melisa Qonita Ramadhiani

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