I have mentioned several times before that I am a member of The Compact. The basic concept of “The Compact” is to join others in a challenge to buy nothing New for one year with only a few exceptions. You can however buy used and/ or borrow. (Please check out the link above for a more in-depth description.) I determine the over all goal to be that each member becomes a Mindful Consumer for life. With this challenge I am looking to decrease my carbon footprint and expand my family’s Eco-Friendly ways. While I work towards a “Purposely simplified footprint” I hope to continue to be accountable here!
My update and thought’s one-quarter of the way through….
- Total Items purchased new: 2 (a stove, Madelyn’s Bathing Suit)
- I now purchase the majority of our fruits and vegetables at local farmer’s markets
- Donated 4 bags of clothes and 5 boxes of “stuff” striving for simplicity
- Learn more about and continue to eat as much as possible directly from our garden
- Rain barrel and composter project 35% complete “Thanks Bill”
- Found great new consignment store sources for clothing needs.
- Time spent in retail stores almost none!
- I find myself looking at a store or even a store ad and my first thought is “don’t bother you can’t buy anything there anyway!”
- This pledge has given me the gift of more time!
- I am letting “Green” Jenn determine worth of products over “Frugal”Jenn. Sometimes local businesses cost more but as I buy only what I need I find that I am saving a lot of money. This Makes the sometimes higher cost of local products more affordable.
- I have found many places in the Bible that support living an earth friendly life. To keep it at its simplest I’ll say that we need to be Good Stewards of God’s creation and the gifts that He gives us. I personally don’t feel that God is concerned about whether we buy shoes locally or not but I know He is concerned about our hearts. Are we being Good stewards of his creation or do we carelessly damage it? I recommend this book related to this topic. It is wonderfully written and enhanced my passion to share how God really does play an Enormous role in my desire to be Green.
I would love for you to join me in this challenge. Even if you just decide to put back a few impulse buys or better yet just don’t go in the store once or twice a week, you are making a difference. This challenge is extreme, I know, but feel free to create guidelines for yourself to do something to live a more earth friendly life. Here are some ideas:
- Make your own natural cleaning supplies or self-care products.
- Plan out your errands to cut down on amount of driving you do.
- Meal plan-waste less food
- Buy local as much as possible
- Shop farmers markets if possible
- Use Eco-friendly often free gift wrapping
- Give a gift of experiences instead of things. (Tickets to plays and amusement parks, gift cards to restaurants or local businesses, museums, train rides, etc.)
- Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose- Think outside of the box before you pitch something in the trash. Many of my posts can give you ideas on how to repurpose common household items and typically disposable containers.
- Buy used and check out Freecycle in your area.
- Teach your kids about the earth, paper comes from trees, don’t be wasteful, why buying local matters. (Gear the information toward their age level) My daughter knows toilet paper comes from trees and that it is good to bring our own bags to the store. This is easy for her to understand and appropriate for her age. Try to communicate to them why you are shopping at the farmers market or buying local. They may not understand what a carbon footprint is but they will learn that it is important to you.