Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Consumerism boycott

Who would like to boycott consumerism for a month? This came out of the carbon-reduction post. The intent is to buy less so that we don't contribute to the production of material goods and therefore aren't using as many natural resources. Also, we might realize we don't really need much. You can either stop buying selective things, or go cold turkey.

Suggested guidelines (the most restrictive, but customize it to your own habits or life events):
Allowable items:
Food - could modify this to omit processed food, junk food, mochas, etc.
Plants - unless this is a weakness you want to curb
Medical supplies & kitty litter
Emergency home or car repair (like if your pipes leak and ruin your shoes, or it's time for an oil change)

Clothes (but being wedding season you might adapt this)
Kitchen items
Cosmetics (ha!) and lotions (use up what you have)
Knick knacks
Pet paraphernalia
Books, DVDs, CDs
No cleaning/home products? (use up what you have)

We can use this post for our support group - so post any ideas, objections, questions. I am going to try 1 month of cold turkey no buying, except for anything food-related since I don't like to cook (and coffee shops get me out of the house). But I will think twice about prepared foods (I don't buy much anyway). Sally and I are doing the Mutt 'n' Strutt, so this will allow me to donate more money to this.


Cathy said...

I think this is a great idea. I have to bend the rules, however, because I am moving into Scott's house which requires a few purchases (e.g. paint for the walls which are chipping). However, we are trying to abide by the "give away two things for any one thing we buy" as not to accumulate more STUFF and to help friends who otherwise would have to buy stuff (e.g. I have a friend moving into a new house and I am giving her my bed and coffee table).

Irene said...

Being still relatively new homeowners, I don't think we would be able to do this without bending the rules to the breaking point. I can sorta participate by trying not to buy new clothes, books, dvds, or cds. Jewelry, cosmetics, and knick knacks I could also forgo... but it would feel like cheating to "claim" those if I don't buy such items anyway.

Tucson Trekker said...

I'm in. But then it seems like all I ever buy is food, anyway. Plus gas and plane tickets and I need more printer paper. I'm unwilling to forgo those things, though. I should probably be able to do without the printer paper, but I have this crazy need to edit my dissertation from time to time in hard copy. I really think this is a shame and a wasteful bad habit, but the damn thing's hard enough to do, anyway, and I want to allow myself this if it helps... As for gas... maybe I should look into the bus system more. It's just that errands take 3 times as long by bus and I get very motion sick on busses. Maybe I'll look into it more, though. I don't wear jewelry or make-up and (thanks to all you guys) I still have plenty of great reading!

Jenny said...

I'd like to do this for a month for sure, in hopes that I can form some good habits. When are you wanting to start, SS?

Sally's sister said...

Hi Jenny - I already started! We could make it for the month of May. I did buy homemade hotpads at the farmer's market, for a wedding shower, and a bottle of joy and wash clothes - that's what I was assigned to get. Other than that, it's just been food and a plant. Oh - I did buy dog treats, both at the farmer's market and at the merc - the group that makes them hires homeless people. This is funny, none of us buy much anyway. But occasionally I'll get on a spending spree and buy a bunch of underwear or camisoles or something, when I could make due with what I have. Maybe this will make us aware of the little occasional things we buy that add up over time.