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Thread: Have they got the right idea?

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Have they got the right idea?

    Could you, would you do it?

    Saying no to new - second-hand goods will do
    5:00AM Sunday January 27, 2008
    By Nicola Shepheard

    Imagine buying nothing shop-new, except food and toiletries, for a whole year - by choice. This is what one Taranaki family decided to do, and the experience has profoundly changed the way they spend and consume.

    Emma O'Sullivan, 35, works part-time as a primary school teacher, and her husband Evan Lobb, 41, is a beef farmer. They live on a farm in Tongaporutu Mokau with 4-year-old Francis and 17-month-old Claude.

    O'Sullivan got the idea of eschewing the new from an article in her local paper about an American woman who did the same.

    "Her take was a stand against consumerism and it had an environmental bent, and that appealed to me."

    The resolution took shape: from January 1, 2007 to January 1, 2008 they would avoid as many new goods as they could.

    More here .
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    For an obviously environmentally-friendly family, I wonder how much petrol they used, getting to and from their hunt for quality second-hand goods? And did they walk or cycle to work/school?

    Nah, good on 'em for having a go - couldn't do it myself though, I'm an advertisers dream consumer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welshgirl View Post
    I'm an advertisers dream consumer
    Don't you mean a wannabe advertisers dream consumer? You've got to have money and be able to buy the products to be their dream consumer!!
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

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    I think they've partly got the right idea. I buy most of my kids clothes second hand, mainly because they're only 3 and 1 so I can get away with it at the moment, no doubt when they're old enough to have to wear the 'cool' clothes I'll have no choice but to buy new. While I've been clearing out all the stuff we're no taking to NZ I've been getting rid of it on Freecycle which is a yahoo group, saves filling up landfill with my junk that's potentially useful to other people.

    Ideally I'd like a combination of the two, for example I'd never buy a new car, solely for the way they depreciate as soon as you drive them away, and I'd never buy second hand underwear because the idea grosses me out.
    26 January 2008 - House under offer, we're getting closer
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    19 March 08 - accepted another offer on the house
    Booked tickets, will arrive in NZ 4 July 2008
    Currently enjoying the 'weather bomb' in Northland July 08
    Anticipating a move to Auckland in the next few weeks - November 08

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    Cadge loads of stuff of other people - vair vair cool!!!!
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welshgirl View Post
    I'm an advertisers dream consumer
    Everywhere we look these days we see adverts and someone is trying to sell us something. It's a lot of pressure continually coming on to us. I'm not a dream consumer by any stretch of the imagination as I'm quite a cautious shopper, but I must say that this recent house move has made me flinch. I was dismayed at all the stuff we're lugging around with us, half of which we rarely use and only bought because it looked handy, might come in useful at some point or if we have visitors. I'm now on a quest to thin down our belongings as I'm finding it all a bit of a burden. Previously, in other countries, there was always some way of giving away or selling surplus items that were too good to throw out, so it removed some of the guilt of having bought them in the first place. Here, it's not so easy to dispose of things, but I'm going to have to find a way. Pity I'm not already in NZ as I'm sure there would be plenty of takers. Having said that, I keep thinking it's not going to be easy living off a fixed UK pension that doesn't increase annually and perhaps I should hang onto these things.

    I've made a start by chucking out some old shoes and clothes that I now know I'll never wear again. I'm sure, as I get deeper into this, I'll find it very liberating, as I did in Kuwait, when hubster and I started our lives together and had very little (he had a massive debt he was clearing). We bought a lot of items secondhand, bit by bit, and they were fine because we chose them carefully. It gave us a great sense of achievement as we saw our home coming together, piece by piece, as we made something out of nothing. It was a very creative experience, too. When we left there we sold all the furniture and some of the nick nacks and it wasn't too painful because we'd bought it secondhand anyway and hardly lost any money at all. It felt good to just walk away from it and absolve ourselves of the responsibility.

    I'm pondering on what point I'm trying to make here and I think it's that possessions, or too many, can be a heavy burden. Making do and creating a silk purse out of a sow's ear is very fulfilling and rewarding because you did it yourself and didn't just collect it from a shop. I probably feel it more because we are faced with how much we have each time we move. Someone who's settled in one place wouldn't necessarily be aware of just how much they have accumulated until they decide to empty all their cupboards into cardboard boxes . I applaud the family in the news article and I'm sure it's made them stronger people. At the same time I realise that it's not everyone's cup of tea to conduct their lives in this way and I'm sure some would faint clean away at the very thought. Horses for courses, but I can certainly see us doing our bit when we take up our lives in NZ and I'm looking forward to it .
    Mother Bear

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    Welshgirl's Avatar
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    MB, you and Dawn would make a good pair - you want to give stuff away and she likes cadging

    Seriously, I'm not an advertisers dream. I'm probably of the same mindset as 99% of peeps - I would love to be in a position to be able to afford to be an advertisers dream and go off and buy all the latest gismos, but I'm not. I'm an avid supporter of the Two Dollar Store and shopping around for the best price I turn off lights when they're not needed and I only wash when I have a full load. I don't waste money, and wouldn't even if I could afford to. I'm the first to have a laugh at advertisers promises of bigger, better, tastier, longer-lasting, boosted, stain-removing products. I only watch adverts on NZ tv cos they're so funny and get away with things UK tv can only dream about!

    Long live the penny (or should that be 'cent') - saving jar

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    I hope you didn't take my post as a jab at you, WG, because it was actually a jab at myself for hoarding stuff that I really shouldn't have taken on board in the first place. Our nomadic lifestyle doesn't allow for it and we're now bearing the consequences of past weaknesses. I'm not usually taken in by sales blurb and think carefully before buying so pity help us if I was more of a keen consumer than I am. I say 'I' where I should say 'we' because hubster is always alongside me when I shop and is instrumental in any decision about whether to buy or not, so I'll put some of the blame on him, too .

    I just feel that we were less burdened and more carefree when we were in Kuwait with very little, and that was mainly secondhand, than we are here, loaded up with all that we want which was bought new. It didn't seem to matter so much if the secondhand stuff was bumped or scuffed a bit, but it does matter when our possessions are new and we're trying to keep them looking that way. Perhaps it's what's often referred to as 'the burden of responsibility'. With a bit of luck, if we stay here a few more years, our furniture will be past its best and we'll be more willing to part with it before we leave so we won't have to worry about shipping it to NZ. We can start again then with a clean slate and buy appropriately for a much smaller home. It'll be a challenge we'll enjoy.
    Mother Bear

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    I suppose buying all used stuff is a good experiment for people who are used to buying only new. I grew up on a lot of hand-me-downs and second hand stuff, and still enjoy giving new life to something used. Sure I'll buy new things, too, but I also tend to use things until they're threadbare. I think the big challenge for most folks is to resist "acquisition" or "retail therapy".
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

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    Quote Originally Posted by selchie View Post
    ..... still enjoy giving new life to something used..
    That's a good way of putting it and sums up how I feel about 'pre-used' stuff (as they call it these days).
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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