Buy Nothing Year

March 30th, 2007 → Leave a comment

Wow, the work is piled high and yet I seem to have time to blog twice in a day. I rock at procrastination.

I didn’t tell anyone and wanted to share that I made a pledge to myself at the beginning of 2007 that it would be my “Buy Nothing Year.”

What falls under “Buy Nothing Year” you ask?

The following items are not to be acquired through cash transactions this year.

  • New clothes that are mass manufactured (including socks and undergarments!)
  • New shoes that are mass manufactured.
  • Presents that are mass manufactured.
  • Any other big unnecessary crap that is mass manufactured.

If I do acquire clothing or shoes it has to be acquired non-monetarily or through other means– as hand-me-downs, gifts, reconstructed through existing materials I own or are given, by trade, handmade (ie knit), borrowed, or in rare circumstances, I will allow myself to buy things thrift or directly from the maker (and opting that they are made of recycled materials whenever possible). But for the most part, what I’m pledging to do is not buy any new clothing, shoes or presents and living more within my means and using what I have.

For 365/366 days this year.

I know this may not be a big deal to hardcore “buy nothing day” people who will go as far as growing their own food, but I’m telling you, it’s been really hard and in ways, not that hard and quite eye-opening! Especially right here where I am in Ithaca where there are a crap load of cheap clothing stores. But so far, this year, I’ve not bought any new new clothing pieces or shoes. Ugh! It’s freaking killing me. I feel so last last year. But I hope that it will force me to be creative and see how I can alter and reconstruct what I have to make something new from the old.

Already in 2006, I successfully cut out my dependency on foreign oil and did something very taboo when I switched to (gasp!) cloth pads. So this felt totally natural.

Some of the projects that I plan to execute this year are…

  • Crocheting blankets for babies and friends getting married this year and avoiding using gift registries.
  • Crocheting a bathmat out of old t-shirts for my bathroom.
  • Knitting a sweater for myself.
  • Repairing clothes with holes.
  • Reconstructing old clothes.
  • Seeing if I can get my friends to participate in a trade.
  • Seeing if things I need can be acquired through other means, like Craigslist “curb alert.”

But so you know, my pledge still allows me to buy…

  • Anything yarn or knitting related. (Duh!)
  • Food.
  • Anything related to my show, work, or art (so my costume was ok to buy at a store).
  • Housewares that are absolutely necessary to my life.
  • books

Yes, I guess this pledge will really come into full effect when I learn to not buy anything related to knitting. Maybe I will even go as far as stretching the pledge into 2008 and expanding it to include other things that require money.

What have I learned from this pledge this year?

  • That I might be one of the craziest and rarest American women alive.
  • How much more I appreciate what I have.
  • That I actually have quite a lot of crap.
  • That I’ll have some money at the end of the year to blow on yarn!
  • How much I don’t need.
  • That this pledge is not that hard.
  • What I am capable of creating on my own.

Category: buy nothing day year

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