Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Buy Nothing New for a Year - Final day
I was fully prepared with ideas for Christmas. I had all the kids kitted out with second hand and home made and home made by others, in my head. I made some lovely hot chocolate in a jar for the extended family, upcycled an old notebook with a cool new cover for Nugget's teacher, bought second hand books for some people, and some old jigsaw puzzles for others. But time got the better of me and in the end I caved in and bought some things brand spanking new.
I wasn't over the top. We did something you want and something you need, something to wear and something to read. But it new stuff in the most part. Santa didn't play by the rules either.
Initially I felt really ashamed about this, like I had ruined my whole effort in one lousy 4-hour shopping spree. But upon reflection I realise that it was just a blip on the radar. I was thoughtful with my selections. I just got them from a store instead of second hand.
I reverted straight to my 'new ways' afterwards.
The commitment I made to Buy Nothing New for a Year concludes today, but this journey is far from over for me. It has enabled me to reconnect with my eco-self and has changed my shopping mentality for good. There are so many ways to acquire things that you need. Buying them from a shop may be the quickest way but it is not necessarily the best.
I have experienced the true meaning of recycling, reusing, upcycling and going without over the past 12 months. I know where all the op shops are in my local area, even the best ones for different things. Making things for myself and others has given me more joy than I ever imagined it would. The fact that I *can* make things that others enjoy has been an eye-opener too. You don't have to be a sewer to create a gift for someone. Frog, Goose, Bear (a fab crafty blogger) even had me guest post! Imagine.
Life has changed in so many ways. I have changed the way I shop for food and the kind of food that I buy. I read books from the library. Read blogs instead of newspapers and magazines. I have stopped my junk mail. I bake. I shop at second hand stores again. I don't use plastic bags. I only replace things that are broken; good enough is good enough. I re-use/repurpose items around the home. I started a worm farm and built a chook pen (Well... the Geege did and the chooks still haven't arrived). And I have my own vegetable patch. I also started 2012 without any debt (except for a mortgage!).
Buying Nothing New has taught me to appreciate where things come from, how long they will last and who made them. It has been a revolution for me. I know my lessons have inspired some of you (Kymmie took the plunge this year) and that makes me even happier.
I am concluding my BNN with a Buy Nothing month with Simple Savings. I plan to save a few dollars for the trip to Bali we have planned in March!
So tell me, what do you re-use in your home?