Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buy Nothing New in October

"We used to build civilisations. Now we build shopping malls."
Bill Bryson

Today I pledged for Buy Nothing New. I have been thinking about it for a while, ever since I heard about it a few months ago. I meant to do it earlier but plum forgot, so forgive me for being a day late (my day of Lates began when we forgot to adjust the alarm clock an hour earlier before bed last night...).

The principle of Buy Nothing New is not rocket science. 'Make do or Mend' has been around for ever. Upcycling, recycling and freecycling are ideas which are fashionable but not groundbreaking. And shopaholics needn't fear - Buy Nothing New isn't advocating complete shopping abstinence.

Buy Nothing New is about reconsidering whether that thing we want to buy is really worth the earth's resources and labor which went into producing it, and where it will end up when it's used up. It's about considering if there are alternatives, which may actually turn out to be a whole lot cheaper, even free, and having a break from the 'affluenza' which consumes much of the community.

I think I should be able to do it.  Here's my exceptions, which I hope are within the bounds of the Buy Nothing New pledge:

1. If it's for sale at a supermarket, it's okay (there may be some grey here with underwear, kitchen gadgets and cheap toys so I'll stay away from them).

2. If it's handmade, it's okay (ergo markets are okay - my rule).

3. Limit of two magazines (again my own rule as there are only two I want to buy anyway: Country Style & Donna Hay).

4. Seeds and plants are okay, although I will try to pinch them from people's gardens where possible.

5. Charity donations are more than okay.

Fortunately the daily newspaper and a couple of magazine subscriptions are already in play. Also the library, ebay (for used stuff) and etsy are my friends. So is Fishpond, so that friendship is on hiatus.

So, let's see if it lasts! Especially as we have a couple of breaks this month - does spending in another country count???

But maybe, when November 1 arrives and I let loose those moths from my wallet, I will have learnt some lessons and be a more considered and prudent consumer.

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