The 365 Day Non-Consumption Challenge

I have challenged myself to go 365 days (started on Aug 1, 2011) without purchasing new, off-the-shelf items.

What does that mean?Lets say I need to buy a new backpack for my daughter for school...I have to find that backpack in some way (thrift, friend, etc.) that doesn't require me buying a brand new, never before used item. Essentially I want everything I purchase to be giving me their "second life".

#1 The environmental impact used to produce, ship and package new items while perfectly good ones sit in consignment stores, thrift stores and basements.
#2 To challenge the idea that status=belongings. To rethink the phrase "He who dies with the most toys wins" and prove (even if just to myself) that I am the sum of my actions, not my belongings.

So NO buying items brand new for 365 days.
(p.s. I am not a martyr so exclusions will apply to things like runners, undies, etc. to make this realistic it has to be recycled TP) see "ground rules" post below for more details.

Stay tuned...

Monday, 11 July 2011

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"

You may (or may not) know this as one of the Lululemon mantras.

Let me tell you about the moment it made sense to me-

It was months ago when I starting thinking about writing this blog and while it was germinating one question popped up- How do I do this AND throw my daughter her 5th birthday party?

You see, I wanted this to be real, to REALLY change my habits on accumulating things, creating consumer waste and spending money.

The party was easy, use toys we already have, glass instead of paper plates, etc.
IT WAS THE GIFTS and the packaging that they would come in that I was concerned about.

So this is what we wrote on the invites-

"The gift of your presence is present enough. Or, a small second hand toy. Easier on the environment and the pocket book" we followed this phrase with a little recycle sign.

(A small note- I have to credit my hubby with helping me on this one. He is DONE watching toys come in the house, get played with for 10 mins and then forgotten.)

I hoped that this would at least limit some of the consumer trash* while at the same time letting people know that the party wasn't just about getting gifts for my was about getting together for a good time.

Of course it worked and the guests did (for the most part) bring a toy from the second hand kids store, or from bottom of their own toy box.

It was great that the kids were able to learn about sharing, recycling and "killing trees" but the best part...

My daughter has been invited to her friend, Alex's, upcoming party.

He asked his mom he can have a second hand party too.

"be the change you wish to see in the world"

We changed

We watched our action grow beyond our home.

It was magical!

Enjoy your day,

*Consumer Trash- The cardboard and plastic that new items are wrapped in.


  1. "We watched action grow beyond our home." Awesome.
    That's it, right there, the reason to make any change, is to inspire someone else. Way to go!

  2. I second that picpoetprose! So often we all get caught up in the idea that a change has to be giant and change everything at once but underneath it all it is actually the little changes that cause the biggest ripple. Right on Liz.... that rocks my world!!