I’m Not Buying It!

I believe that one of the most important things we can do to be sustainable is live a simpler life, one without so much disposable stuff.  Now I’m putting my money where my mouth is and joining the I’m Not Buying It challenge at Greenhab.  I think this challenge will not only be good for the environment but also good for our bank account.  We’re pledging to not buy anything new for the next six months! Here are the exceptions:

  • Food: Of course we need to buy food.  However, I am going to try to limit packaged foods more than I already do, and I’m also going to limit us to one meal out per month, which I think is more than we’ll actually go out.
  • Gifts: I’m not going to limit myself for Joshua’s birthday!
  • Seeds/plants or other items that will make us more secure and independent
  • Chickens and associated purchases, but we’ll try to use salvaged materials to build their coop.
  • Baby: Joshua needs gdiaper refills, disposable diapers for daycare, and I may need to pick up membranes for my pump, etc. 

Here are some of the actions I’m taking to make this pledge work:

  • Get back to the library.  I’m a total book hoarder, and there’s no reason for me to purchase every single book that I read.  If it’s just a fun, quick read that I won’t want to reference later, it makes much more sense for me to go to the library.  Plus, our town library just re-opened after a major renovation, so it’s really nice.  I just discovered that I can reserve books online and though I actually did enjoy using card catalogs back in the day, I’m excited that the process has been streamlined! I reserved a book yesterday and picked it up today!
  • Visit second-hand stores.  I’ve only dabbled in them before.  I’m quite confident that Ed and I can both go without getting new clothes for the next six months, but Joshua will need new clothes.  There is a great second-hand baby store so I’ll have to hit it up.  Plus by the time summer’s here, Joshua can just wear a diaper!

I’m not really concerned about reining in our spending elsewhere.  We’re actually pretty good at living frugally, but I like that this challenge is going to push us further.

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4 Comments

Filed under Home, Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

4 Responses to I’m Not Buying It!

  1. Hiya! Your note about the chicken coop reminded me of this post, if you haven’t seen it. It’s a description of how a coop was built from salvaged materials, and I love that you can get the eggs from outside. http://www.gsheller.com/2009/08/fruits-of-his-labor-chicken-coop-is.html

    Consignment stores are my favorite places to get clothes for the kids! If you find a consignment store in a nice neighborhood, chances are that you will find very nice clothes. I’ve often found brand-new stuff with tags still on them.

    And on the library tip, in our library system, you can also check out passes to local attractions (even MassMoCA,which is an hour away from us). I can’t remember where in CT you live but I was looking for passes to Stepping Stone Children’s Museum, and some of the hits that came up were passes that you can get if you have a library card with local library systems near Norwalk (maybe Bridgeport and New Haven, too… can’t remember!), and libraries that do this usually have passes to state parks, too.

    I can go days without spending money and after awhile, it becomes a nice little challenge– can I get through today without spending any money?! Not to mention, it really makes you think about whether you need this or that… do I need that cup of coffee RIGHT NOW or can I wait until I get home to make some?, and so on.

    Good luck!

  2. Erica

    What a great challenge! I love your exceptions. :)

  3. Laura

    We rarely buy anything new for our 2 year old boy. They go through things so fast! All his clothes and most toys are second hand. For his first birthday/Christmas I was pushing to still buy thing second hand because it reflects our values, but my husband was hesitant. This year though, he realized the value in many ways and was all for it. As long as the present is thoughtful, people appreciate it.

    And if you haven’t tried interlibrary loan yet, you must! I never buy books anymore because I can pretty much get any book I want this way. If my local library doesn’t have a specific book, 99% of the time another library does and I can request to have it sent to my library and I pick it up when it arrives. All totally free!

  4. ctdaffodil

    Good for you – I haven’t decided which challenge to take up for this year yet.

    We got a great big wagon from Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron Ohih for our oldest son and a wooden rocking horse for our youngest son for their 1st birthdays . They are 9&11 now and the wagon is still going strong and horsey is put away for a keepsake.

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