Believe in what you buy.

Buy something new. I don’t mind. It’s not my choice, it doesn’t impact on my decisions. That’s the great thing about our BNN project – we buy nothing new. It’s pretty cut and dry, it doesn’t have too many grey areas, we can live by that. It doesn’t mean we feel judgemental towards anyone else for their consuming decision making. What it does mean is that we get to show others that buying nothing new is possible, and it also might give people an opportunity to think about their consumption habits in a conscious way. I think, mostly, the buy / sell process is automatic for most people now. We never really thought about it before our first year began. We had started to buy fair trade coffee and avoid products with palm oil. We were becoming more aware of where our food came from. We knew a little about the unethical production of Nikes. We avoided Nestle. If it was a well-publicised boycott, we knew about it. Otherwise, we were a bit mindless when it came to our spending. We also didn’t realise that there were alternatives to consuming.

The thing about becoming a conscious consumer is that it doesn’t mean you have to stop consuming.  For us it means buying second hand or not at all. For others it may mean buying fair trade, or from stores that provide something back to communities who need it (think Oxfam shops). For some people it may mean buying locally, or supporting small business. For some people it is about buying Australian (or American or Mexican or wherever you happen to be based) made. For some it is about avoiding purchases that may inadvertently support labour camps or that encourage criminally low wages and the exploitation of children. Some may splurge on high quality household goods, knowing they will (probably) never have to replace them. Some will buy branded clothing that can then be passed on at a fraction of the price to people like us who buy nothing new.

The point I’m making, is that buying nothing new is one way. It’s our way, and we like it. We will probably do it forever.

Either way, I think it’s important that we think about what we’re buying, whether we need it and where is has come from. Don’t just be a cog in the wheel of someone else’s design. Make your own wheel, or become a part of something you believe in. Contribute your hard earned dollars to something that matters.

Well, that’s my 2 cents. It’s about all I have spare…

Mama xoxo

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7 thoughts on “Believe in what you buy.

  1. Being from Canada, I try to buy Canadian as much as possible. I have stopped buying crap (not only because most of it comes from China but because it doesn’t last). As that is the case, I must wait to buy the quality I want as it is more expensive. We have taken the approach of researching and ensuring that what we buy is truly what we need.
    I agree with you that we each should be more conscientious of where we use our money.

    • Yes! This is the other factor…research / delay purchase. I’ve been working on a post about this, too, but I’m much better at talking about it. We are happy to wait (or if we can’t, borrow) until we are able to ensure we’re buying the best. That’s why we were so peeved about BP’s computer screen dying, because we DID that. Most of the time it works out, though.

  2. This is such an important area to cover, thank you! Without going completely Waldenesque (and even Thoreau came back from the woods eventually), it’s nigh on impossible for most of us to stop consuming entirely. The majority of people still need to source sustenance, shelter and birthday presents while existing in a society that is driven by consumption and economic growth. As a result, I feel that too many people find the concept of BNN too overwhelming and subsequently struggle to make any changes at all.

    Becoming a conscious / ethical consumer is the key to this immobilising conundrum. Shopping locally, supporting Fairtrade, sourcing second hand – all can help contribute to the reduction of our collective debt and ecological footprint, while simultaneously contributing to our happiness and overall enjoyment of life! By simply becoming more conscious and creative in our approach to consuming, we can all make a significant difference to the world around us.

    Thank you for sharing and being so inspiring!

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