Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why I decided to buy used for a year

I have been asking myself a lot of questions lately regarding why I decided to take on this challenge.  However, after thinking and writing some about these questions, I realized that I should first let you know what influenced me to buy used for a year.  

Here is a brief synopses of how I came to make this decision.

About a month or two ago, our church held a meeting with the group called ACT Alberta (Action Coalition on human Trafficking in Alberta).  It was a very informative meeting, although it was not the first time I had heard about human trafficking and the huge, largely unknown, problem that it is.  As most people do, I came away from the evening, wondering where my part was in helping to stop this atrocity.  And, while the majority of human trafficking is sexual trafficking, part of it is labor trafficking, something I might very well be contributing to.

That same evening, I was talking to a friend about how difficult it is to buy responsibly, as in fair trade, locally, etc... or just knowing exactly where and how the product was made.  There are several reasons why I find this hard, but the biggest reason is, these products don't normally fit into my "thrifty mindset," since they are normally a bit more expensive.  I understand why they are more expensive and I can respect that, however, like most people, I want and have come to expect cheap goods.
My friend's response to this, was that she has decided to buy all of her clothing used.  Although she is not promoting companies that use ethical practices for the labor and distribution of their products, she is not contributing to practices of unethical companies either.  I liked her reasoning and figured this was something I could commit to.

A few weeks later, my mom came for a visit and brought with her some magazines she had bought at the library.  They were the library's old magazines and only cost her 10 cents each!  My kind of deal and resourceful.  Any how, I came across a great article that got me really excited.  It was published in the Sept. 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping and is called Our Year without Shopping.  It is about a family who decides to "...embark on an experiment:  For 12 months we'd refuse to give in to these perpetual wants and purchase only edibles or depletables (things we used up, such as shampoo or gasoline)."  This family decided to go almost completely purchaseless, as opposed to my decision to buy used.  However, the seeds were being planted and I was getting excited about the possibility of trying it myself. 
(Here is the article if you would like to read it)

Along with these two very influential experiences, there were many other conversations, interactions, and readings that led me to finally decide I was going to bite the bullet.

Therefore, I decided to include the links to two blog posts that were influential in my deciding to buy used for a year.  They are well written and certainly worth the read.  --- posts Ash Wednesday and A Stirring  --- posts Living Simply? and More on Living Simply

So there you have it.  A look into what prompted me to buy used for a year.

More to come.

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