Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday links

I'm a big fan of the older crowd - I am inspired by their stories and wisdom. Fabulous Fashionistas is a British documentary about six such inspiring women, with average age of 80.

Tim Minchin gave a great graduation address at his old (and my old!) university. You can read the transcript here or watch it here. I would tell you my favourite parts but it's all good. Fantastic advice for life.

Australians are the richest people on Earth! Based on median wealth, that is. However, most of the growth in income goes to wealthiest, not those who need it the most. There is an increasing body of evidence (admittedly, small psychology studies) showing that wealthier people tend to be less nice people.  The world's richest woman (and fellow Western Australian) Gina Rinehart is an exception, if her lawyer is to be believed. He recently told the NSW Supreme Court that she's " selfless that she could not retire or pour her billions into philanthropy." (Sydney Morning Herald "Rich people couldn't care less", "The biggest victim here is Gina, says her lawyer"; ABC Dr Karl's Great Moments in Science "Greed is not good")

Meanwhile, "Moneyless man finds happiness", about the guy who started Freeconomy and has lived without money for the past five years. The comments say it all. (ABC Environment)

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, a look inside a temperature-controlled warehouse that stores clothes and accessories for the ridiculously rich, including Ivanka Trump and Gwyneth Paltrow. (Mail Online)

More "fashion": scrunchies and perceived obsolescence. (Waste Not)

Also, in case you're wondering, Buy Nothing New Month has been very easy so far. I browsed a few op shops but didn't buy anything. Unlike last year, I am allowing myself to buy groceries but I am not buying any staples or bulk items, just fresh produce. I think I need to follow up with "Get Rid of Heaps of Shit" month. There's so much more to share but I have to go deal with a silverfish problem.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Buy Nothing New Month 2013

Suddenly, it is October. That means two things: it's almost a year since I started this blog, and it's Buy Nothing New Month. I only realised this yesterday when I received an email from BNNM. Browsing last year's posts on BNNM I realise how much my shopping habits have changed since participating last year. I think have spent far less time shopping and bought less stuff. I tend to make most of my purchases when I am travelling (having made work-related trips to Sydney and Adelaide this year).

Over the past six months, excluding food, drink, hygiene products and medications, goods I have purchased include:

  • organic cotton fair trade baby booties
  • locally handmade books made from vintage maps
  • locally made teatowel
  • Australian-made baby ugg boots
  • toys made of recycled plastic
  • locally made baby pants
  • books
  • cut flowers
  • an Austrian-made wooden trolley with blocks
  • a Swell bottle
  • two pens shaped like hip bones (for my geriatric friends)
  • a helium balloon (oh no! Least ethical purchase this year?)

Clothes and accessories
  • very versatile, Aussie-made black shirt (to replace a shirt that was beyond mending)-very versatile, Aussie-made blue wool dress
  • vintage shirt ($5!)
  • NZ made shirt (to replace ten donated shirts)
  • three pairs of Aussie-made trousers (to replace trousers that had worn out)
  • fair-trade scarf
  • scarf by up-and-coming Aussie designer
  • locally-made necklace
  • locally-made earrings

Other stuff
  • books (I'll post about some of these, and local book shops, later)
  • German-made wooden broom (expensive luxury I will have for decades)
  • fresh flowers (not often enough)
  • organic coriander seeds (a school fundraiser for a work mate's daughter)
  • a replacement battery for my bathroom scales (I couldn't find a better alternative)
  • lipstick (cruelty-free, Aussie made)
  • eyeshadow pencil (By Terry, from Mecca Cosmetica. Possibly tested on animals)
  • hair elastics (made in China)
  • Vogue magazine (featuring Advanced Style)
  • Frankie magazine
  • four car tyres - the most expensive and potential most toxic thing on this list?
All were purchased from independent stores, markets or directly from the designer (unless otherwise stated). Only one item (the vintage shirt) was purchased used.

It is helpful to see what I have purchased over the past year, and what a long list it makes when all put together! It also emphasises room for improvement (buy fewer books! Find alternatives to batteries and hair elastics! Stop buying make-up when you only wear it once a fortnight or less! Don't buy magazines and not read them! You don't need any more jewellery - you hardly ever wear it! Stop wearing out all your favourite trousers!!!)

I hope to learn some new lessons, and form new habits, this Buy Nothing New Month.