Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Progress report for 2008

What have we bought new so far this year?
I thought I should do a list of the times we have broken our consumption challenge. Perhaps you guys could give suggestions for how to avoid these pitfalls in future?

Razors. What am I supposed to do? Go Amazonian? I can't think of a consumption-less alternative for me, and I am not about to suggest that Andrew should grow a full beard.

Glue, varnish, nails. Andrew has bought a few sundry woodworking supplies. He has restored a number of pieces of furniture and picture frames from op shops and garage sales (I really should be blogging about his stuff too, eh?) and there doesn't seem to be a way around buying a few consumables. It's not like these things can be bought second-hand since glue and varnish actually go off.

Hair ties. No, they're for Andrew. This one might have a solution. Any ideas? He uses pretty heavy-duty elastics to tie his long hair back.

Shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap. I'm going to be trying the no-shampoo challenge soon.

Deodorant. Oh dear. A "must have". It's the only part of being European that I dislike. Any consumption friendly alternatives which actually work?

Toothbrush. We've each had a new brush (and Elliot has his first) because I couldn't find any alternative which wouldn't send us broke.

Disposable nappies and wipes. Back in Jan/Feb Elliot got a staph infection and we had to use disposables for about 6 days so I could wash his nappies in a special solution.

Hot water system. Our 26 year old system finally died in the new year. Can't really go for a year without hot water just to prove a point. We got an energy-efficient system to replace the horrid old storage tank system.

Cleaning supplies. Well, technically these aren't "bought" because we don't pay for them, but they are still consumed by us. My mum is a distributor for a little company which makes perfume-free, colour-free dishwashing liquid and laundry powder and other cleaning items (I think shampoo and conditioner too) for people who have chemical sensitivities. Given my family's history of chemical issues my mum likes to bless us with free cleaning stuff. I haven't paid for dishwashing liquid or laundry powder in 11 years.

What if?
I have noticed a few things which may need to be bought one day.
Cds. I have been using my usb and mp3 to give information to other people wherever possible, and have barely used any cds. But I do need to backup info and photos. Any alternatives?

Unpicker. Bet you weren't expecting that. I used my unpicker to cut a hole in leather yesterday and it broke. I have another, but I'll be looking out for one at the op shop now. What will I do if I have no unpicker. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I am not stupid enough to think I can live without it.

Consuming or not?
It's interesting for me to ponder the "consumption" issue. For instance, when I try the no-shampoo challenge, I will still be consuming something (bi carb, apple cider vinegar) instead. If I tried going without the few cleaning products I use, I would have to use something else. I love my bi-carb as a cleaner, but it can't wash laundry. And if it could I would need to purchase much more bi-carb. There are many things I am finding it easy to go without (new clothes, toys, entertainments, sewing supplies) but there are some things which seem vital to a healthy and hygenic existence.

I'm not sure what m point is, so if you know or you want to weigh in on the topic, please leave a comment.

Oh, temptation!
A quick thought to leave you on. I am having a great deal of trouble coming to terms with another 7 months without one of these.

This is the only thing which is testing my resolve about the challenge. What am I to do. I can wait, but it's going to be a tough road.


Kelli said...

Razors - by a real razor and strop for A. Or get one of the metal ones that you need only chage the blades on. You could make your own wax and wax your hair away.

Hairties - use pantyhose. cut the rounds on the legs and they are great. If cut wide enough they last for ages.

shampoo etc - bicarb. I washed mine in bicarb today and it is so nice. I hadn't washed it for 2 wks and it has taken away the build up and crap. You can use apple cider vinegar as a rinse too.

Deodorant - a chrystal or bicarb, or essential oils and cornflour

Toothbrush - I tried those eco ones that you can replace the heads on and they were crap. The bristles kept falling out each use. I reuse our brushes for cleaning or for kids painting so don't feel so bad about them. also it isn't like you are replacing them weekly.

CDs - do you have a dvd burner? these will hold much more info or get a portable hard-drive. You can pick them up for not too much and they have like 50+GB capacity.

Unpicker - oh for heavens sake TREAT YOURSELF!!!!

I think at the end of the day if you look at whether it is a need or a want firstly. Then look at what the options are; can you buy 2nd hand, make it, op shop it or perhaps get it on freecycle. We all have to consume at some stage to survive, it is how we do it that counts.



Tanja said...

Wow, thanks for taking the time ot write all of that, Kelli.

Razors - yep we use the ones you only have to replace the blades for. Dh would probably love the idea of a "real" razor. LOL!

Hairties - only prob is I never ever use pantyhose. ;)

Shampoo - yep, plan to try that.

CDs - good idea, have been thinking about buying a dvd burner. Maybe next year.

Unpicker - if only the aim of the challenge wasn't to go a whole year without buying anything new. LOL!

Freecycle - yes, I should ask on there more often. Ta.

Thanks for the thought-provoking commentry. :)