Thursday, December 31, 2015

Making every day 'Buy Nothing Day'

For several years now I've been keeping a list of annual goals. Sort of like new year's resolutions, but these are things I plan to actually do, rather than fail to do! Top of my annual goal list is, once again, not to purchase anything that is not needed, or adds to a hoard, or is not absolutely to my taste and size. According to Juliet Schor, in her 2010 book Plenitude:

In 1991 Americans bought an average of thirty-four dresses, pairs of pants, sweaters, shirts, underwear, and other items. In 1996 that number had risen to forty-one. By 2007 per-person consumption had soared to sixty-seven items. American consumers were purchasing a new piece of clothing every 5.4 days.

Since reading those words I've kept a running list of all the clothing and footwear I've bought each year and have tried to be absolutely conscious not to buy anything I won't use regularly. It's actually quite fun, as it forces me to be selective and to choose items I really like and really want to add to my wardrobe; to choose quality over quantity. It's also a good excuse to completely boycott the summer sales that are making the shops so chaotic this week! By keeping purchases to a minimum I'm also reducing wastage of materials and energy, saving money, and reducing clutter.

Some other goals on my 2016 list include ...

  • continuing my three regular volunteer jobs
  • doing more Coursera courses
  • cooking more spicy food
  • continuing to support my favourite good causes and make Kiva microloans
  • exercising at least 90 minutes per day (a phone app polices this!)
  • minimising intellectual clutter by avoiding unnecessary mailing lists and 'loyalty' programs
  • treating time as if it were money and spending it wisely

Happy New Year!

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