Buying nothing for a year… Month 9 update
Woah. It’s 9 months since I started this challenge of buying nothing for a year.
With only a quarter of the year left, my thought are turning to next year and the lessons I’ve learned from this journey over 2015. I have to admit that this year has been a lot harder than I thought it would be, even harder than the first time I bought nothing for a year. I’ve caved in a few times, I’ll be honest. You can read about this in my interview with Simple White Rabbit. Since then I also bought 2 second hand chairs from a charity shop in a moment of weakness. I’m not regretting it. I’m learning and trying and seeing what fits my life. (And they are the most comfortable chairs IN THE WORLD).
I started off beating myself up for wanting to buy things, and even more if I caved in, even when it was affecting my work. as in the case of my car!
9 months in, I’m beginning to filter through the lessons I’ve learned this year. I’ve noticed a few patterns, and few decisions I’ve made, and I’m beginning to acknowledge some foundations for going forward into next year and beyond. I’m proud of what I’ve learned so far. Here are just some of my thoughts.
I’m still kind of immune to adverts
Brilliant! Adverts suck. I haven’t been ‘shopping’ in ages, and don’t really watch TV either, so this limits my exposure to advertising in a massive way. I’ve become so cynical about advertising that when I see an advert for something, it tends to put me off buying, rather than creating that need in me. I’m not sure what they says about me! Luckily I don’t tend to come across much advertising day to day so it doesn’t trouble me too much.
I don’t want to buy much new stuff
I work for a charity and have seen everything under the sun be donated. I can’t see any need to buy new products when I can source most things I need from charity shops, freecycle, or make it myself. I’m much more interested in fixing an old, quality item, than buying a new flimsy version. The exception to this is sourcing local, ethically produced, handcrafted quality items. If I can’t find what I need second hand, I’ll look to local craftsmen and businesses. I’ll try and swap things with friends and family. Next year I want to explore new ways of coming into possession of items. Ways that aren’t contributing to the waste our society is producing. Ways that re-use and repurpose.
I want to look after my corner of the world. Both my husband and myself are becoming more interested in green building and permaculture. We’re learning a lot about the ethics behind this and I’m looking forward to minimising our impact over the coming years, however this may be. There are so many options.
I’m still continually paring down
Every few weeks I’ll get together a little pile of things I no longer use, and donate them so that others can find use in them. I’ve got ‘summer’ clothes and ‘winter’ clothes all vac bagged so I can swap around with the changing seasons, but I still audit the clothes I have, even though I know I can’t replace them this year. Some no longer fit, some have finally worn through and are beyond my repairing skills! It’s a good feeling to keep paring down. As I learn more about myself and my journey, it changes the things I feel I need.
I’m looking forward to next year. I don’t know when I’ll buy something again. I’m just going to continue in much the same vein and only buy when I really need to. I’m toying with a few ideas to try next year, including project333 (although I don’t think I’ve got 33 items of clothing per season so it might be a little less!). I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I’ve also got rid of a lot of cosmetics and personal care products that just aren’t that great for the environment. I think I’m going to focus more on ingredients and the ethical stance of the companies that make these products. I love Think Dirty app. It tells you how ‘dirty’ your personal care products are. I’ve had a few unexpected surprises from ‘natural’ ‘organic’ brands!
If you’ve joined in with #buynothing2015, what are your experiences? What are your plans for next year and beyond?