Buy Nothing Week

Tonight I was laying on the couch with my daughter after doing a big hike.  I was lazily contemplating something that I needed to buy during the upcoming week and I said to my husband, "Oh, I have to buy x."  I can't even recall what the item was. My daughter who is three overhead me and said, "And, we need to buy me a pink ball with a heart on it."

I replied, "Why's that?"

She said, "Shinky (our dog) ate it."

I thought about this and then replied, "Well, maybe there's no point in buying another one because the dog will probably eat that one too."

She said proudly and enthusiastically, "I have an idea!  We can buy one for me and one for Shinky."

I gave this some serious thought for about a minute and then exclaimed, "I have a better idea!  Why don't we buy nothing!"

My husband who was listening to our conversation from the kitchen while making dinner piped up, "That's the best idea I have heard in a long time."

I agreed and said, "Okay, well, why don't we start having "buy nothing" week.  For the first week of every month, we will buy nothing."  He loved it.

So, there you have it.  Starting the first week in October, this will be our family tradition.  Our rule is that we can stock up on food and gas the day before buy nothing week, and then our goal is to buy nothing for the rest of the week.  Our logic is that if we have taught our child consumerism at such a young age and we know that excessive consumerism is at the backbone of many of the world's problems, maybe we should teach her some other values too - like appreciating and using what you have.  My grandparents lived by this philosophy and in all honesty, they were the biggest environmentalists I knew and some of the most inspiring people.

So, I will let you know how it goes, but for now, I wanted to share the idea in case it inspired something for you and your family.

On the one hand, I am glad we are doing this, and on the other hand, I find it weird that this is even a big deal.  Shouldn't it be easy to buy nothing?