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...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

No New + Back to School...youch!

Even if you don't have kids you know it's that time of year again.
Not because the leaves are just beginning to change or because to the taste of winter's chill in the evening air.
You know it's fall because every single media outlet is pumping you to buy this and buy that! How will your kids ever grow up to be a noble prize winning lawyer if you don't...not to mention be popular...eeeck run to Walmart! Now!
So as I send my 5 year old off to kindergarten for the first time I am forced to navigate this minefield 365 Non Consumption style...

To be honest with you all it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

I already know I'm not buying anything new so the desire I would have had to buy her a sparkling new, fancy backpack (and lunch sack, water bottle, jacket, jeans, etc....) is gone! Replaced by the fact that she really can use the one she has from pre-school.

I can't tell you how relaxing it is to NOT listen to my own inner dialogue.

"Well she really doesn't need anything new but all the other kids will have gotten new stuff for their first year and she will look so cute with that new (insert all kinds of stuff here) I should get it for her..."

You know the chatter, the "I don't need but I still want to buy it, should I?" chatter.

Ahhh... none of that! Even when I made the trip to Walmart to buy the necessary new notebooks (kinda a must, recycled paper!) I left with only what I came for and completely avoided the time suck and money drain that is Walmart. (Insert angels singing here.)

All they really needed was new pants, here comes the fun part...

That's 6 pairs of pants right there!

Garage Sale $1.00 each!

That means I picked up all the pants Tiny and The Goose will need this fall/winter for $6!!!

Adding $114 ($20/pair) to the saving calculator (at bottom of blog).

At least she sill know which ones are hers, right?

Also on our "list" provided by the school, doutang and folder. Well look what I had hiding away in my home office, a doutang and a folder! Amazing right!
There was writing on these reused things but we also had some scrapbooking pieces left over so we did some artistic cover up.
The "fancy"ones at Walmart were $3.00,  this was free! (+$6.00 to S.C.)
The bonus is how proud she is of them and the "craft" time we spent together (Hey, Mastercard...that's priceless!)

And finally...I'm that mom that likes to send her girl out with fancy paper napkins in her lunch do I do this and not consume...

Buy old Hankies at a garage sale 25 cents for 2!!!

Their pretty and reusable!  I like to idea of how cute she will be with her own linen nappy at the lunch table not to mention the paper towel she won't use WHEN she spills her applesauce.

That's it folks back to school done for a grand total of $19.75 (includes required stationary supplies), just because we chose to use what we have and buy reused for the rest.

Bonus....Tiny and the $2.00 lululemon hoodie...mommies need stuff too!

Enjoy your day,

Please comment...I love to hear your thoughts :)

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