Questionable birthday decisions.

Sometimes we like to pretend that you’re here to read about things like how we choose to parent our daughter (so exciting and original!) or what books I like to read that you should, too, or uhh other stuff that is mostly irrelevant to our BNN challenges. Thanks for indulging us.

We often find we don’t have a huge amount to say about Buying Nothing New. This is probably a good thing. A great thing. It means that we are overcoming our challenges with more ease – it’s becoming second nature to solve our issues by purchasing nothing, borrowing something, adapting, mending, making or (as a last resort) buying second hand. But this doesn’t make for good blogging.

It was my birthday last week. When my parents asked me what I wanted I thought long and hard. I had been researching about the Kitchen Aid Mixer and whether it might be a worthy addition to my kitchen. It is possible to buy them second hand, though they don’t depreciate much and in Australia they are very expensive. I’ve really done a lot of research and I did consider asking Mum and Dad if they’d help me buy one second hand for my birthday. I still feel so undecided about it, though, and recently my brother and his partner suggested I borrow theirs for a little while to see how much I use it and if I like it. I think this is a really great BNN way to make a purchasing decision.

What did I ask for then? Honestly, I’m to sure how this gift sits with BNN. I feel a little uncomfortable about it, but I’ll explain the process we went through. I have an old doona that has lost most of it’s feathers. When I say ‘old’ I got it for my 21st birthday, so it’s not terribly old (I’m not terribly old, really, after all) and it was expensive at the time. I feel it should have lasted longer than it did. But it didn’t. I know that I could get it refilled, but I feel that it is an expensive solution that is also temporary.

As the weather has cooled down at night the three of us in our bed are less than cosy. We use no heating at night and no matter how many bed socks or singlets or blankets we add we’ve all been so cold and none of us have been sleeping well. So I asked my parents if they would give me a new doona for my birthday.

Mum and I went shopping – we ended up choosing a woollen doona by MiniJumbuck*. As an Australian brand using Australian wool we felt it was hard to go passed. I also like the fact that though the wool may get flatter over time it won’t lose feathers. Buying this doona first hand is the first factor that I felt uncomfortable with. I guess this probably counts as a personal purchase of something new, because really I made the decision and although I didn’t pay for it, I asked for it. Technically or not, this is a purchase on our behalf.

The second factor that made me feel uncomfortable was that we bought a king size doona when my previous doona was queen size. This means new covers. We ummed and aahed over what size to get, but honestly – BP and I are both really tall and we share a bed with a growing toddler. I want this to be THE doona we have for years and years to come. I don’t want to make the decision in five years time that it isn’t big enough. To solve the issue of doona covers we managed to purchase two second hand covers on eBay for $28. We don’t love the patterns, but we’re not that particular about our bedroom decore anyway, so at that price (and second hand) we’re happy to have them for the term of their natural life.

The old doona is going to be relegated to our spare bed for now as it sure beats the polyester summer doona in there currently (which will be donated).

It’s not a win – win situation, but it’s not a complete loss either.

Mama xo

* I know it’s weird to link a product website on a blog that is discouraging consumerism, but honestly – to me this seems like a perfect option if you are Australian and you want to buy ‘locally’. None of the other doonas were made here or used quality local products. This reduces the miles the product has travelled, if nothing else.

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4 thoughts on “Questionable birthday decisions.

  1. I feel your pain, had a job interview this week, had to search my cleaned out wardrobe for the right fit. also had a Christmas voucher for any where in Chadstone. Hmmm what do I do? for3 months I have not brought anything new and you know I enjoy chucking the EOFY stuff in the bin, but to keep a roof over our heads with Full time work, nope as my Dad said the stakes are high. So Yes I have two new dresses and used them for the two interviews and got the job! For 3 months I haven’t gone out to buy anything and nor do I want anything. Always buy classic, well made and in your style, that way you are an individual. Oh yes I wore my Channel perfume brought duty free as my dream product. It needs to last me a while, But the message is, every bit counts and we cant always be perfect. BNN is not a religious cult, we just need to be mindful of what we purchase and the commercialism we face every day. We do our best and sometimes it collides with our beliefs.

    • Thanks for your kind support, Gussy and hey – congratulations on getting the job! We’ve used vouchers given to use for Christmas, too. It doesn’t feel good, but wasting them is not a solution either. Sounds like you used yours wisely.

  2. Regarding your comment at the end about listing products on a blog about non-consumerism–I struggle with the exact same thing at my own blog. I don’t want to encourage buying more stuff, and if people are happy checking out the books I mention from the library, I completely support them. I need to figure out a way to blog in a way that is aligned with my belief about not buying more stuff, but at the same time, I want to make money from the blog so I can do it for my work–I still am stuck on how to proceed, but I am going to BlogHer this month to try to figure it all out!

    • That is a much harder dilemma! I have thought about it often. I think that there is that line between being a non-consumer (is that even possible??) and being a responsible consumer. I offer that link as a way of being a more responsible consumer – under certain circumstances. I guess you need to ensure that the products you support also back up your philosophies. Challenging!

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