General ramblings

I Quit….

…don’t panic, not the blog, or My Make Do and Mend Year….

…But I am joining in with Eco-Thrifty Living’s I Quit Blog Fiesta!


I am going to paraphrase from Zoe’s site to tell you all about it…

Zoe is going to start a regular roundup of  ‘I quit’ stories.  She wants to hear about anything you have given up that has saved you money, was kinder to the environment and/or improved your health!

Examples include quitting sugar, smoking, shampoo, your job, alcohol, gambling, your smartphone, social networking sites, wasting food, using disposables, using plastic – the list is endless!

The idea is that the more we can share our stories about why and how we quit the things that were doing our wallets, the environment and/ or our health no good, the more we can help and inspire each other!

So I’m in! And I guess the obvious thing to blog about quitting, is buying new!

Regular readers of my blog know what I am doing, and may even have some idea of why I am doing it, but I thought a quick re-cap might be interesting!

Since September 2012, my family and I have bought nothing new (well, almost-2 exceptions-here and here!).

We have set our own Rules-we can buy food (obviously), and toiletries (although I have made my own deodorant!) and consumable cleaning products (although, again, I am experimenting with some homemade ones). We also drew the line at secondhand pants, so we can buy new underwear, and also new shoes for the Smalls.

I have to be honest, and say I can’t really remember what my initial motivation was! I think a lot of it was shock at seeing how quickly BigSmall had become really quite materialistic. At the tender age of 3, he just wanted ‘new stuff’. Now he still gets new stuff, but it is not ‘new new’, just new to him, and he gets less of it, and he is still just as happy!  As the year has progressed, it has become clearer and clearer to me that it is really all about trying to live a ‘sustainable life’. I am still not entirely sure what a ‘sustainable life’ is, but for me, it means reducing our consumption (not as in food, but as in ‘stuff’), and what we throw away, and re-using things as much as we can. And I also want to show people just how easy it is to lead a life that has a lower impact on the planet. I saw a web page recently with a comment about how green-living should be hip not hippy, and I guess that kind of sums up what I am trying to achieve!

I wouldn’t have said that we were especially profligate or materialistic even before the year began, but it was more a case of not giving much thought to what we were buying, and to whether there were any alternatives to buying the things new. I had bought the odd thing from the car boot, or the charity shop, and even ventured to our local auction house, but this wasn’t commonplace, and we were definitely guilty of heading off to the nearest Ikea whenever we needed any new furniture. It wasn’t until we started My Make Do and Mend Year, and I stopped to think about it, that I realised that all the ‘things’ in our house that I love the most, are the one’s that I have had to put a bit of hard work and thought into-like our tarted up old pharmacist’s chest that has pride of place in the kitchen,

Good photos1

or the lampshade I made from an old net curtain!

Good photos2

I called the challenge My Make Do and Mend Year (when really it should be Our Make Do and Mend Year, as the rest of family are along for the ride!) mostly because I thought it sounded pretty cool, but actually, it really sums up the philosophy behind the year. We have indeed been Making, Making Do and Mending! And I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone else.

It is a cliche I know, but it has been life-changing. We are only halfway through, and still have 6 months to go, but I really think we have kicked the habit of buying new. I wouldn’t be so rash as to say we will never buy anything new again, after the year has ended, but I think I am now firmly addicted to #buyingnothingnew!!

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No Comments

  • Reply Eco Thrifty Living March 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Thanks so much for writing this post for the ‘I quit’ blog fiesta which I will be publishing in a couple of weeks!

    • Reply Jen March 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      I was going to e-mail you tonight with the link, but I guess I don’t need to now! Great idea-love it 🙂

  • Reply Samantha Schofield March 16, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I really hope you inspire others to take just a bit of what you are doing and incorporate in their lives. If you want a craft project to up cycle fabrics / homewares etc just drop me a line -plenty to share around! Good luck!

    • Reply Jen March 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Hi Samantha. I really hope so too!
      One of my ambitions for the year is to start an Upcycle Exchange-a kind of crafting bring and buy, so may well be contacting you for any bits you have going spare..! Thankyou so much for your kind offer. Have a great weekend 🙂

  • Reply notimeforironing March 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve been trying to fix broken things recently, so perhaps it could be ‘I quit throwing before trying to fix’? I really hate having to buy new things too.

    • Reply Jen March 15, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Yay-do it!!! And link up to Eco-thrifty living. The satisfaction of fixing something destined for landfill is great 🙂

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