Could you give up buying new products for a year with the exclusion of toiletries, food and home improvement items? We found a great lesson in the ways of being green and attempting to reject the typical consumer gluttony that our daily lives lend themselves too. See the lessons learned by a family of three the first year that they tried it, why they took a break last year and the challenges that they have set for this year, after the jump.
While catching up on some news with The Seattle Times we ran across this great idea on being less of a retail consumer. The theory was to buy nothing new that they didn't have to. Sounds easy enough, but the road had it's ups and its downs.
"We found we didn't need much, and that what we did need could be bought from thrift shops, vintage stores, consignment shops and Craigslist. We bought beautiful furniture including an armoire and a dining room table with six chairs. We bought books from Half-Price Books for kids' birthday gifts. And we made do with what we had, somehow getting by without granite countertops and flat-screen televisions. The biggest challenge for my husband, Guy, was finding men's pants after he lost 25 pounds. You can find nearly new men's shirts at thrift shops, but the pants typically are not in good condition. He just cinched his belt tighter until I convinced him that he looked like a bum and needed to break the pledge. So he bought new work pants and a pair of jeans."
They came to the following three conclusions about their experiment:
1. Buying is a habit; giving up the habit buys time.
2. I can live with what I have.
3. Buying used doesn't necessarily mean saving money.
Curious as to how it all turned out for them? Check out the full article from The Seattle Times.