Ways we have been filling our free time now that we’re not shopping

Since we are not buying new thinga anymore we have a lot more time on our hands. We thought it was about time to share some of our latest projects and hobbies we have developed recently.

Big Pop has been cooking up a storm! She has made some delicious meals for her and little pop to freeze and have for dinner πŸ™‚
She has made Chow Mien, yummy slow cooked stews, soups and even cheesecake! All made with lovely local ingredients. Hopefully when our veggie garden is ready to be harvested we can include some of our own produce in the food!

She also made a football themed quilt out of old family scarves we have collected over the years. This was given to some of the family’s most devoted footy supporters for cold nights watching the Saints play… (Hopefully it will also give them some much needed luck for the rest of the season!)

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Little Pop has been fairly busy with exams but has found time to start finishing off some old crafting projects she started such as cross stitch, quilts, scarves… (This list could go on forever!)

Little pop also found an old wooden pallet on hard rubbish and salvaged it for what is so far an unknown project. We’re thinking it would make a nice lettuce planter… Maybe something like this…

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We have both been reading vigorously (which isn’t something new) but are starting to run out of matierial so are beginning to wonder whether it is better to use the kindle to download ebooks or just buy secondhand hard copies of the books we want.

There are many recycling related Facebook pages we have both been following such as:

Hard Rubbish Melbourne – A group for those who aren’t afraid of a good scavenge, it has a list in the files
Section outlining all the hard rubbish collection dates for each council area.

Recycle in Eastern Suburbs Melbourne – a more localised version of the above group.

Frugally Sustainable has many great ideas for making everyday products and saving money!

And

Upcycled Vintage which is a great blog written by a woman in Adelaide who does up old furniture, she even does custom orders if you’re really interested!

Also – not a Facebook group but equally wonderful is a building demolition team who claim to salvage 98% of the buildings they pull down and then sell them to the public! http://pacedemolitions.com.au/ and http://www.salvagebazaar.com.au/ is a similar online marketplace for surplus and secondhand building matierials πŸ™‚

We’ve also had some success with our vegetable garden we planted not too long ago, but I will save that story for another time πŸ™‚

TGIF

Well Friday has come around again and since we’ve now been doing BNN for a little over a week I thought I would reflect on the progress we have made during the week.

On Sunday we went down to the farmers market and bought a nice sourdough loaf and then sat back and enjoyed a coffee and a Sri Lankan cooking demonstration as well as a nice bag o’ bones for puppy pop. We really love this market and would recommend it to anyone living in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. http://www.mulgravefarmersmarket.com.au/

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Monday we went into Collingwood and had a nice browse of the various op-shops where Little Pop purchased some funky sunglasses. We also stumbled upon a lovely shop run by the NGO Friends of the Earth where you can buy local produce package free (so environmentally friendly!). what you do is come along with a few old tupperware containers fill them up with whatever you’re in need of (chickpeas, pasta, muesli… maybe some kidney beans?) then you pay and take it home, just like a regular supermarket! http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=co_op/home

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Tuesday we made a lovely mandarin jam which tastes great with a nice cheese or even just some plain toast πŸ™‚

Here is the recipe we followed: http://www.recipelover.com/recipe/1724/mandarin-jam-marmalade-mirowave-recipe-recipe

Wednesday we received a lovely box of fruit and vegetables from CERES, a company dedicated to providing fresh, organic, fair trade, locally grown produce. It was so exciting, we had been anticipating what may be in the box since we ordered it on Sunday. I think one of the best bits is the mystery of not knowing what you will end up with. For just over $30 we got a whole box stacked full of yummy treats πŸ™‚ http://www.ceresfairfood.org.au/

Photo: On the weekend Mum and I decided to purchase our weekly shopping online through CERES - An organisation committed to giving Melbournians access to organic, fair trade, locally grown produce + home delivery! Today our huge box arrived packed with goodies (all for just over $30) here is a small snapshot of what we received.

Thursday Big Pop did a big clean out of the corner of here bedroom, which has been blocking access to part of her wardrobe for months now (maybe years!) and ended up filling a bag with about 20kg of no longer needed clothing and she was so happy!

Now we have Friday, who knows what today will bring! Mothers Day is coming up this weekend what have you got planned?

I think we have been adjusting really well so far to our commitment to buy local and not be controlled by matierial items and being able to write this list has allowed me to visualise how hard we have been working. Something that did come up during the week which never really got settled was if BNN includes digital items such as apps and ebooks, what do you think?

Little Pop xx

The plan

For a few days now I’ve talking to little Pop about getting the ‘rules‘ down in writing for ‘buy nothing new’. I wanted to be able to visualize how different our consumption habits would be. I want to have a journey of living a modern life as chemically free as possible. As I said in my last post our house feels so cluttered with stuff that it is effecting how we live. I am always worrying about the mess and lack motivation to actually clean because as soon as you clean one room and move onto anouther the first room is messed up again. I find it embarrassing having people around and at time feel isolated. I have come to realise de-cluttering and not buying anything new will help us live a simpler life and no longer be slaves to our ‘stuff’. The side benefits are, we will save some money (always good) and reduce our environmental foot print. We haven’t joined a cult or become environmental warriors and we don’t think we are better or smarter than anyone else. It is a great time to slow things down and really look at what we buy and what we really need.

So here are the rules which I quickly scribbled in my note book whilst following little pop around the bathroom as she readied for Uni.

What can be purchased new:

  1. Food – which we plan on purchasing from local farmers.
  2. Medication
  3. Safety and security equipment – we have some dodgy door handles that may give up any time soon. Our external doors all have same key deadlocks so it would be difficult to replace with second hand.
  4. Printer Ink and paper.
  5. Ingredients for home made cleaners
  6. Toilet paper
  7. Underwear
  8. Fabric
  9. Pens
  10. Petrol and car maintenance equipment

Of course we will always try our best to buy things second hand or borrowed where possible but if absolutely necessary and we can see no alternative way around it these are the items we have deemed permissible to buy new.

What can’t be bought new:

  • household goods
  • dog & cat toys
  • clothing
  • furniture
  • bedding & linen
  • books, magazines & newspapers
  • DVDs & CDs
  • cleaning products
  • cards
  • candles
  • Wii & Xbox games
  • Bottled water

New habits

  • Washing machine and Dryer only used for FULL load
  • Dryer only used at times that things cant be dried in cloths horse
  • Power points turned off when not in use.
  • Wash up when you have enough dishes to use a sink full of water
  • Buying local thinking global πŸ™‚ – Little Pop loves that motto.

Our list can be added to and along the way will let you know of adjustments we make. I am really looking forward to that moment I have a dilemma about buy new or not, lets see how innovative we can be.

β€˜clean natural, eat in season, donate, up-cycle, recycle and live life chemical free.β€˜

Big Pop

Big Pops take on Buying Nothing New

‘Buy nothing new for a year’, is what Little Pop wanted for her 21st Birthday. As a parent I support my child in her their pursuits, this request was more than that for me.
Two years ago I left my job of 29 years, it was always a battle for us to pay the bills anyway, but when i was offered a generous redundancy package I took it as an opportunity for us to live the life we had always dreamed of (just for a while anyway!). For the past 1.5 years since I left work we have brought what we wanted with little thought about the impact the goods we
purchased were having on the environment. There came a point when I said ‘I don’t want any more junk!

To be honest I’m not entirely sure what I buy that is so bad, but Little Pop assures me that we will be significantly decreasing our environmental footprint by doing this. We still haven’t established any definitive rules around what we can and can’t buy (although we really should get onto doing that) but I plan on buying as much food as possible from local farmers and thus reducing the environmental costs associated with spraying, transporting and packaging the foods we buy (I know this isn’t really classified as buying nothing new but I am really planning on getting back to our roots when it comes to food).

Back to buying nothing new… We are a household of two girls so as you can imagine clothes are probably the biggest product we tend to buy new. We are a household of collectors, you never know when you will need it. We went to my wardrobe tonight and found a skirt I have had since I was 17 yrs old because ‘one day I will fit it!‘.

I would like to have a go at making things like skin care products myself from locally sourced resources wherever possible.
I plan on implementing a similar strategy in regards to cleaning products although this won’t be a huge difference to the way our household operates now. Due to health reasons i am unable to use powerful chemical cleaning products so most of the time we use natural home made cleaning products anyway. those who know me knows that I love my bicarb soda and lemon juice (these two areΒ  must have for anyone looking to make their own cleaning products!) – soap flakes, natural oils and vinegar are also great! I plan on regularly putting up posts with various home made cleaning product recipes and showing the results they can have (for proof of course!) for anyone looking to take a more natural approach when it comes to the cleaning of the house.

Oh and lastly…something I’m looking forward to with ‘buy nothing new’ is de-cluttering our house! We have a third bedroom that is unusable due to’ stuff’ – note that cleaning this room does not mean buying storage solutions, but to really look at what we need and get rid of anything we no longer need.

I think our motto should be, ‘clean natural, eat in season, donate, up-cycle, recycle and live life chemical free.

Lets see how our Buy nothing new rule negotiation goes

Stay healthy and happy ..Big Pop.