Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Buying It

I am no stranger to "not buying it." I can't really remember how long it's been, but I do know that I've been making a conscious effort to not buy new clothes and stuff for over a year.

I was prompted by a desire to save money and to save the environment, because it upsets me to think about how our throwaway culture is burning through the earth's resources.

I was also inspired by the Compact, a group of people in San Francisco who vowed to not buy anything new for year; a book called Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping; and fellow bloggers Arduous and Fix, who took a hiatus from all spending July, food included.

And do you know what happened? Something surprising - I started to dislike shopping. I now think of shopping as a chore. I would much rather spend my time in other ways, like indulging in my blog addiction, having a nice meal, going for a walk or bike ride, and so on.

I will warn you though, sometimes I do feel bored with my clothes, or frumpy when I'm wearing the same falling apart shoes every day because I haven't gotten the motivation to go shopping. (I also tend to feel frumpy because I think the business casual crap I have to wear to work is so boring. I don't feel like I have many opportunities to express myself through clothes anymore anyway. It sucks.)

But it works for me because I am also not one of those girls who cares about looking perfect. I don't wear makeup (have you ever considered how many scary ingredients are in makeup?), I don't blow dry or style my hair. I like me just the way I am, and my boyfriend agrees that I'm pretty without all that stuff.

This is not to say I'm a saint and haven't bought ANYTHING in the past couple years. I will admit to using gift cards to buy new clothes; used clothes are totally allowed; I buy things when I need them (like today I might go out and replace my holey socks!); J-Man and I went a little overboard at ikea this fall; and I ended up buying more gift things for Christmas than I wanted to.

But I think it's better to try to be mindful about consumption than to not try at all. Every little bit we do helps. Which is why i was so happy to see so many blogger friends signing onto the spending hiatus.

Of course everyone's priorities are different, so instead of spending my money on things, I tend to spend the most money on food. I buy most of my food from the farmers market, which is not cheap when meat is involved. And we eat and drink out a lot. Hence why my spending hiatus is more about trying to cut down on spending money at bars and restaurants, to save money and bring food back home, where I have direct control over the healthiness and sustainability of my food.


  1. I hope you have an amazing time in Argentina. I really loved it there! And yea to you for this post! I wish were all more eco-aware...

  2. Oh I wish I wish I wish I were as ecologically conscious as you my dear. I am trying harder every day. And it is wonderful to have lovelies like you to show me the way!

  3. Your eco posts are so inspiring. I know with the current economy we are really focusing on constantly cutting back on things (especially when it comes to our wedding). Sometimes it's hard for me to not have things I was really looking forward to, but it makes me feel good to know that it's just making our event more eco-friendly.

    Now if I could only find the perfect thrifted wedding shoes...

  4. Thanks guys, it's nice to know ppl out there appreciate my efforts and ideas on going green.

    Amanda, good luck with the wedding is kinda a pain that thrift shopping is so much more hit or miss than regular shopping. I'm looking forward to seeing how your wedding turns out for more eco-inspiration.

  5. You know, I think you're right on this decreasing shopping thing. I used to have NO PROBLEM, but since I've tried to cut back (especially this summer) I really have to work harder at justifying what I'm buying... cuz do I really need it? That being said, you are very inspiring, hopefully with work I can get to where you are :)