Sustainable Living| Types of Content I Avoid Watching

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 love Mia but why?

I used to enjoy these videos a lot but they are just wasteful because –

  1. 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.
  2. 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

SO MUCH PRODUCT WASTAGE! 19M views!

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.

Hey hey hey, I think you should check out my other recent posts now –

Checkout my sustainable brand Moksha. (Available in India)

51 Comments Add yours

  1. akshita1776 says:

    I agree!!
    That makeup one is like, “I bought a lot of things coz I have money and I am just gonna waste it. Wouldn’t you ?’
    Great post and explanations!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Literally that’s what it is. I have so much stuff let’s just waste it all. 🀦
      Thanks for reading. ❀️

      Like

  2. You’ve got a very valid point. That video about melting all those lipsticks is just plain wasteful and pointless! These are also the types of content that I give a wide berth to.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Wasteful videos really bug me. Influencers should be more responsible and should promote reusing/recycling products.
      Thanks for reading. ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. One would think that they’ll be duty bound to do that. But no, they’ll do anything and everything just to rake up views

        Like

  3. Pavithra says:

    Such a great post!!
    Finally someone took up this topic and spoke about it πŸ‘πŸ»
    All these are pointless according to me and I never understood why so many people appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I have watched so many such videos and it used to influence me a lot too. πŸ™ˆ But slowly as I become a conscious consumer I’ve realised this content is frivolous. Thanks for reading. ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pavithra says:

        That’s okay. At least you understood now. πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸ»

        Like

  4. I’m not a big shopper and I only buy when I need! Nearby me I see so many people buying just because is in sales, without even needing the item. Waste of everything I would say! But then if all would be like me the shops would close soon πŸ™ˆ
    But yes, I completely agree! Everyone should be more responsible and choose a sustainable living as much as they can!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Being mindful about shopping is probably the simplest thing we can do to be more sustainable. I used to be one of those people mindlessly buying SO much during sales. Ultimately I’d end up not using so many products that I’d buy on an impulse. I still do shop (wayyy less) but from sustainable brands or brands that are consciously changing their ways. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    Bravo for speaking up about this! I’ve been shaking my head about some of the sheer amount of wastefulness in some of the videos my granddaughter would watch. These videos definitely promote wastefulness in their audience because doing their own redo of the video seems like a lot of fun to them.

    I sound like an old hippie to them when I talk about the environment. Bravo for sharing a different point of view!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I have binged watched so many such videos. It’s only now that I’m trying to be more conscious that I’ve finally realised how much these videos influenced my ways. πŸ™ˆ
      But here’s hoping for a more conscious next generation. Thank you for your kind words. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        😊 Cheers to change! 🌸🌸

        Like

  6. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

    Reblogged this on Tamara Kulish and commented:
    Here a post which captures a pet peeve of mine perfectly, which is the amount of waste which gets promoted by influencers, and then viewers try it out for themselves because it looks like fun!

    I’ve sounded like an old hippie when I’ve talked about the environment and our impact on it.

    Honestly, if you’re someone who wants to help the environment and reduce your own carbon footprint but you find these videos irresistible and you can’t help yourself by trying it out for yourself, please consider NOT watching these videos!

    If you get triggered into similar behavior, please consider cutting it off at the source!

    Like Moksha says, drop by drop. We either add to the problems or we choose not to! Here’s a great way not to!

    Blessings!
    Tamara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you for resharing ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. https://tamarakulish.com/ says:

        It’s my pleasure! You’ve framed a problem perfectly and offer a very doable solution! Simply becoming aware of our triggers can help us to change!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Totally agree with all of this!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. vaniheart says:

    I love watching skincare haul videos, they are like my obsession 😍 πŸ’—
    But I do promote sustainable living and if you ask how
    Ummmm because I don’t have money to buy themπŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜† so yeah I see a video, add the product to my mental list named “I will get you someday” and then forget about it…
    And I so agree on mixing things videos of safiya, I mean I like watching her videos because of her quirky and goofy personality πŸ€ͺ but these mixing videos I don’t enjoy them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I love skincare hauls too but here’s the thing – these influencers need to buy THAT much stuff since it’s their job. But we just need a few basic products but get influenced into buying more because they make these products sound so good. πŸ™ˆ I instead choose to follow 2-3 dermats and follow their advice. I think their videos are more useful since they focus on 3-4 products and their benefits. 😊
      My recommendations – Doctorly, Hyram!

      I really like Safiya’s travel videos but these and the shopping hauls and shopping challenges – I don’t watch. πŸ™ˆ

      Like

  9. AP2 says:

    Before I buy anything I give something away now. I also wait at least 24hours before making a purchase. I realise I have enough stuff so I make sure I really really want that thing before I buy it. I like to live with as little as possible. Thank you raising awareness around this issue – grateful post πŸ™

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I started doing the same 2 years back. I had this crazy shopping problem and would keep running out of storage. So now I only let myself shop after a clean-up when I’ve donated a few products or on special occasions.
      I wish we’d all realise HOW much we all already have. πŸ™ˆ
      Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What a great rule! I’ll definitely be trying this

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Diksha says:

    πŸ‘ Somebody had to say it!

    Like

  11. thefiftyedit says:

    This post is bang on. I started my blog with the intention of review makeup, skincare, fashion, etc. I’ve been doing well so far, but I just can’t get past the justification of buying stuff for the purpose of providing content. So, I’ve managed to stick with reviewing things I already have and buying new when necessary. Also, we’ve been in lockdown for what seems like forever. Why would I be buying new outfits if I’m not going anywhere?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Apparently 19 million people have nothing better to watch on their feed than melting lipstick into what was likely a brown mush. That’s kinda sad. There’s so much you can watch on YouTube to actually learn something or get good entertainment.

    Like

    1. Hilary Tan says:

      These videos are pretty much the only videos I watch of Safiya’s πŸ˜‚ I do agree that it’s wasteful though.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post! I stay away from stuff like that and it is just mind-boggling to me that people would waste their time watching stuff like that.

    Like

  14. Nehal Jain says:

    The last one was just weird πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Right? And people have made videos mixing together all types of make-up – foundation, eyeshadow etc. It is such a stupid challenge! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nehal Jain says:

        Yeah, but maybe it is fun πŸ˜‚πŸ˜—πŸ€”.
        But still, too much wastafe so yeah πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Like

  15. Nivithasri says:

    You’re right about shopping challenge video. And I hate people wasting their things. I usually avoid these kinda challenges. It’s totally useless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I’m so glad you agree! πŸ™‚ I hate people generating waste just for content!

      Like

  16. Wonani says:

    I haven’t thought of a lot of these things like this.
    It’s so wasteful now that I think about it lol.

    I’m learning from you. Baby steps lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Baby steps for us all! It took me a while to see the flaws in consuming this content and a lil while more to entirely stop since they are so fun to watch. But baby steps! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. Point well made. Interesting how we notice these things once we are aware of what we want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Exactly! I was so obsessed with haul videos for the longest time but it’s only now that I realize how much they influenced me.

      Like

  18. I’ve never really been a fan of shopping haul videos but I did used to watch food brand tasting ones. One channel I used to watch would buy about fifty packets of the same food in different flavours; then they’d eat one from about ten packets before sliding ALL OF THEM into the bin. It was unbelievably wasteful. I’m trying to be more sustainable by eating less foods that come in plastic packaging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I was going to include those videos too but thought I’m getting TOO negative. There is this woman who ordered 32 cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory just to take a bite out of them all. WHAT a waste!!!

      That is a great move! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I actually never loved to watch any shopping spree promotion πŸ˜†πŸ˜†
    I am the type that goes yo the shop and buy clothes with cash. Am that old school. The only time I watch makeup videos is when I want to learn about the makeup skills. I am still not perfect and i think I’m still going to watch more so that I can learn how to do my full make up

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      haha! Learning how to do makeup is totally chill! As long as someone is not influenced into buying all the stuff that is being recommended. πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. I know right πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

        Like

  20. anushkawriter69 says:

    Great post!!
    Influencer should be responsible and should make useful content.. ❀
    https://mydigitaldiary2.home.blog
    (New blogger hope you will visit my site and read some of the blogs?)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you.
      Sure, will do!

      Like

      1. Hi, if you say I would like to continue your blog as part 2 in my site. If it’s ok to you. Cause this is a topic which everyone needs to know. And I would really appreciate if you support.

        Like

  21. Caroline says:

    I’ve been thinking this for a long time so I’m glad you’ve posted about it! Watching shopping hauls definitely drags you down and I don’t watch hauls anymore but sometimes I see a nice clothing article on Instagram so I search it up on Depop, Vinted or Thrift+ and can normally find something x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      That is so amazing ! We don’t have a lot of thrifted stores in India – and I wish we did! I’ve seen so many bloggers rave about Depop!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for sharing great post. πŸŒΌπŸ’›

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Sustain blog says:

    A good post on sustainable living. Thank you 😊

    Like

  24. Juliette says:

    I compltely agree with you and this is also precisely the type of content that I actively avoid on all social media platforms (though I have watched them in the past). Especially the ones that just basically seem so wasteful (mashing all your lipsticks together, buying a crazy amount of useless stuff, etc..) I just don’t approve at all and I actually don’t find it entertaining… Thanks for sharing a very “easy” way to also be more sustainably-conscious!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s