Blog Action Day
I've got to the point where i get really angry at people just by watching them spend spend spend on unnecessary stuff to fill a gap in their lives, to make themselves feel happy (or so they think). This then leads to debt and far too much crap filling the landfills. Yes i spend money and yes i often spend it on stuff i don't really need but over the past few years my habits have really changed. You can find me standing in a shop looking something over asking myself "Do i really need this", "Is it worth it?", "Will i use it or is it just going to sit somewhere in my home as clutter then end up at the op shop or in the landfill?", "Where was it made, was it made in Australia or in a sweatshop?". I won't pretend that i always make the right decision, i don't but i am trying. I try hard to buy less and when i do buy i look for secondhand first or choose wisely. I prefer to buy locally, handmade and environmentally friendly where i can. I scour the op shops for craft supplies such as fabrics, sewing patterns, notions such as buttons and zips. I do buy new fabrics, i'd love to be able to use only recycled fabrics i find at the op shops or stuff i'm given but the choices can be limited and i admit i'm a sucker for the beautiful patterns of the new fabrics. And although what i buy may have come from overseas i prefer to support my local fabric store rather than buying it online. I buy books secondhand when i find something interesting and i also use my local library but again i like to have the new craft books on the scene. In my eyes books are always needed and used especially craft books, when i tire of books i swap them at my local secondhand book store or pass them on to others.
A recent spring clean has made me more determined to stop buying unnecessary things. I dropped off a car full of stuff at my local op shop recently and still have at least one more car full sitting in my shed waiting to go there too. My girls have a stupid amount of toys, a lot of which are secondhand from the op shops but they still have too many. Even after the spring clean their corner of the living room looks like a bomb dropped there, they play with a small percentage of what they have and the rest just sits there untouched. Needless to say there'll be another spring clean happening in the next few weeks and this time i'm being ruthless! Esme's birthday is coming up and we've decided not to buy her any toys, instead we're looking at getting her a scooter, something that she can use when playing outside or at the park. We're also limiting what we buy them at Christmas, at the moment we have a wooden dolls house ordered, pink of course! Mia keeps asking for a sewing machine, i had thought about waiting until her birthday next year but she's pretty insistent so we'll get her one and i'll put together a sewing basket for her to go with it. I'm excited to see what she makes. I'm also looking for some Australian wooden toys, such as a cash register, any tips on where to find them?
Over consumption doesn't stop at spending money on 'stuff'. Have you looked at your home? Your car? What could you change there? Do you really need a car? We don't, even with baby number 3 on the way we don't feel the need to go out and purchase an expensive car that would guzzle our income and add to the damage already done to our environment. We live in an area with good public transport and i walk a lot which means i get my daily exercise too. At home we're conscious about the energy we use, we have green electricity and are gradually changing our globes to energy efficient ones. We switch appliances off at the wall when they're not in use and have noticed our bills decrease. We keep an eye on our water consumption by taking shorter showers, bathing together, using a front loading washing machine (which uses about half the amount of water a top loader does) and wash on a cold wash. We make our own laundry soap and cleaning products. We try to use minimum packaging and recycle as much as we can. We use our own bags in the supermarket. We home cook as much as we can, we make our own bread and yogurt, pasta now and again and i bake which is not only better for us but is also an activity for the girls, they get to make and their own biscuits and have learned something along the way.
I could go on and on but i won't, it's getting late :) I'd love to hear your thoughts about this subject, is there anything in particular you do? Do you have any suggestions or tips?
You have to open the book you're currently reading on page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag with.
'Another important motive for downshifting is the clash between the personal values of the downshifter and those of the workplace.'
Oh and if you happen to be in Melbourne this weekend there's a Save water, save energy expo on at the Exhibition centre. I'm hoping to get there on Saturday morning.