November the 28th was Buy Nothing Day. It’s an international day of protest against consumerism, and I took the pledge. However it felt too easy for me. As a rural writer, I work from home, and live quite a way from the nearest shops. November 28th was a Saturday. Tuesday is my regular shopping day, when I drive into town. So I decided to buy nothing for a week instead, not even food.
When Tuesday came around, number 2 and 3 sons, who still live at home, expressed surprise when the weekly grocery shop didn’t appear.
‘But we’re out of peanut butter, and mandarins and Sultana Bran.’
‘Eat something else,’ I said.
It turned into an excellent way to use up what was in the cupboards. Two frozen squishy bananas turned into banana bread. I cooked the potatoes and onions that were almost past their use by dates, mixing them with eggs, cheese, frozen vegies and old packets of soup to make delicious fritters. Ends of flour in two canisters, and the apples in the bottom of the fridge became apple crumble. Lemons from our groaning trees became home-made lemonade. We managed just fine, and saved money. Ten days and counting of buying nothing. I could go another week, I decided.
Until last night. On-line shopping brought me undone. I’m just bringing my beautiful but high-spirited mare Star back into work. She had an unexpected three week paddock holiday, when she unceremoniously dumped me and I sprained my knee. Star has always had a sensitive mouth, and fusses with the bit. I’ve tried her in bit-less bridles, and she hates them even more. Since starting to ride her again, she’s been chewing non-stop, and I started researching bits that offer more tongue relief. I found one last night that sounded perfect, promising to alleviate pressure by over 85% – and it was on special! I hesitated for few minutes, debating with myself. I’d been so good! Then I bought it.
My buy-nothing campaign lasted ten days, and was cut short by the ease of internet buying. She’ll probably hate the bit, and it will hang on the wall along with all the others, testament to my lack of self-control. And tomorrow’s Tuesday – shopping day. The boys will be happy that I’ve given up my campaign against corporate domination!
But seriously, as we enter the holiday season, consider what it might mean to celebrate a holiday that isn’t driven by commercial forces. (Apart from books. You’re always allowed to buy books!) Maybe go local, independent, or make something. We shouldn’t blow the family budget on things we might not want or need. Lets take back our lives and try buying less for Christmas. It might be the most joyous holiday season ever 🙂
Here’s a video of Star (stud name Brokeford Heide) including slow motion shots. How very beautiful! I think she deserves an early Christmas present, don’t you?