The thing I worry about most is that instead of people simplifying their lives in order to become more environmentally friendly and socially responsible- instead of consuming less and using less resources- they are buying more stuff- stuff that is supposed to be environmentally friendly.
Not buying something is always better than buying something that is environmentally friendly.
If you buy only what you need you won't clutter your home with junk and you preserve more resources for others.
A tried and true method to stop buying things is to write down all of the things you want to buy before you buy them.
I personally like putting this list in my Amazon.com cart (saved for later) or wish list, but you can also type them up or write them down by hand in a notebook.
Keep the list and then look back over it in a month or two and you will find that many things you wanted to buy you don't want to buy anymore. Therefore you can cross it off/delete it. After a while you will see what you really want/need.
Instead of focusing on shopping, buying and using energy- check out these ideas for the new modern free fun:
1. do someone's hair- brush it, trim it, braid it, put it up, put clips in it, etc.
2. draw or paint a picture - hang it up
3. read a book alone or with someone and discuss it
4. run outside
5. bike to a friend's house
6. play a sport with friends or family
7. play a board game
8. play a party game
9. play an outdoor game
10. pray or meditate
11. brainstorm a problem
14. make something from materials you have on hand
15. give and receive a massage
16. line dry clothes
17. walk to the library
18. chinese or regular jump-rope
19. put on a play
20. practice an instrument
21. paint toenails
22. organize your closet
23. learn sign language with your spouse so you can communicate in secret
24. play tag
25. hide and go seek
26. race someone
27. make a blanket fort
28. organize your outfits
30. make a card
31. write a short story by hand
32. clean with your family and share a treat after
33. look at photo albums
34. take a walk with someone
36. exercise or try gymnastics
37. read outloud
38. walk to a local park and swing or roll/sled down a hill
40. learn something or teach something
Any other ideas?