For the last year we have been very mean. with our money.
Last new year we decided to make a new year’s resolution not to buy anything new. I guess this is the foundation for this blog. we decided that we would do our best to only buy second hand things from charity shops or get things from friends, family or freegle (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/StroudFreegle/). There were some important exceptions!
1. Food. we’re not brave enough to go scouring the supermarket skips. So we try to buy as much local, organic food as possible, avoiding the big supermarkets (with the exception of Waitrose which does good locally produced organic meat, still not as good as Stroud’s wonderful saturday market but good through the week).
However have a look at this great website about freegans… http://freegan.info/
2. PANTS! we draw the line at second hand drawers. not really sure why as i’m sure a good wash would sort them out, but still, Edward says principles are principles. So we decided to only buy organic and fairtrade. (see our pages on wedding plans to see how this didn’t quite happen!).
3. Cosmetics. Again, no such thing as second hand toothpaste unless you’re very unhygenic. so we get all of our cosmetics from Sunshine health in Stroud, where Ed used to work, which does lovely organic shampoos, essential oils and yes, toothpaste. On the subject of toothpaste have a look at http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/FreeBuyersGuides/healthbeauty/toothpaste.aspxfor some truly shocking information on toothpaste, flouride and manufacturers from this great website.
4. Stationery and Art materials. Seeing as we’re both artists, and not that into junk modelling, there are certain things we need to buy. Unfortunately little chance of this stuff being fairtrade or ethical. We like to support our local art shop, the Kendrick Street Gallery. http://www.kendrickstgallery.co.uk/
I suppose its not earth shattering stuff, but the way we look at it, why should it be? Emily and I just want to leave as little behind us as we possibly can (sorry kids!), in the hope that in doing what we do we will cause as little impact on otherwise pretty exhausted resources.
We’re not trying to be self righteous about the way we live, we’ve made our choices based mostly upon our own comfort. I think one thing we can both say is that neither of us can stand to feel unnecessary clutter around us, we’re not anal about tidying up or anything, but honestly when someone buys us something that we don’t need you can hear a tiny whimper from the back of our throats as we plan the next trip to the charity shop or consider whether this might be a useful addition to our present cupboard. We’re just quite simple people, we like our old furniture that aint quite broke yet, our garden , our greenhouse and the mattress in our bedroom with our beautiful view. We like things the way they are and no new belongings are going to make it any better.*
*with one exception! see page on Edward’s new bike…
william morris; Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.