Buy Less, Live More

Buy Less, Live More

One way that we can all be more sustainable in our lives is to be happy with what we have got. Constant pressure to experience or own new things just means that we are in a constant quest… often associated with consuming more and moreΒ  resources. It’s important to remember that when we see adverts encouraging us to buy the latest gadget, pair of shoes or shampoo that will magically give us beautiful hair, the manufacturers may not be focused solely on our happiness. It is just possible that they are also interested in their own profits. The more we get hooked on the idea that the latest ‘thing’ is all we need to fill our lives with meaning, the more we perpetuate the process. It’s like a drug – all you can focus on is getting your next fix. And when you do, the effect is limited (maybe not even lasting as long as the time it takes you to get home from the shops) and you move on to seeking the next thrill. If you haven’t already watched it, I highly recommend the animation ‘The Story of Stuff‘ which will give you plenty of food for thought about this subject.

I'm happy, anyway

My Buy Less, Live More picture

However, if we look closer to home, we may be able to find happiness and stimulation within our existing sphere. The Story of Stuff project is currently asking supporters to submit pictures to their ‘Buy Less, Live More’ campaign. I have sent a picture of progress on the crochet sofa – if you want to send them a photo, you can do so here. It’s lovely to browse through all the pictures and see how people are enjoying their time not shopping. Other than crochet, the thing this week that has been making me smile most in my little world is Max.

Max – as recommended by our vet – goes and has his hair done every three months. This seems to rejuvenate him – I’m not sure whether it’s because he can see better or simply because he feels nice afterwards, but he is always much more perky after than before. He is a rather naughty boy with Tina, our very patient groomer, so I have to accompany him and he has to be muzzled for part of the process. Yesterday, however, he made us both smile by being a Good Boy and not having a temper tantrum or trying to bite anyone.

This is what he looked like before:

And this is him looking delightful afterwards:

Sam also makes me smile at no cost as she never needs grooming:

So, what have you been enjoying this week that doesn’t involve shopping?

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  1. I have just finished my sisters Christmas present and am starting her boyfriends, then I get out the fabric and make my first onesie and a small fleece jumper for my niece and nephew. It might not seem like much but I love making for gifts and it will cause me to laugh (and possibly cry) as I try to decipher the patterns. πŸ™‚

  2. I love this post…and your pups! πŸ˜€ I have been enjoying hand making a few Christmas gifts, reading, home schooling, talking with friends and family, and being outside. πŸ™‚

  3. Fab post Dr Snail! I am certain everyone who sees your crochet sofa will be inspired! Max is cute either way – but isn’t it so gorgeous to see those black-button eyes! Siddy’s have disappeared again and he is still two months away from his next appointment. But he is now booked in for every seven weeks until 2016!

    I have given myself a special Christmas gift this year – a year long mixed media course, which starts on Jan 1st. In order to facilitate this I decided to make my art space work better than it was and give it a sort out and fix up. It is costing very little money, the only thing I have purchased is some fabric [for ‘pretty’] as everything else is already in the room or in my stash cupboard. The furniture is all placed, the organisation is now done and we [that’s the Royal ‘We’] are up to the fun part ‘pretty’. I am crocheting flowers to hang as bunting, inspired by Dani over at Teddy & Tottie and about to move my Dangler into there also. I think it will be a lovely space.

  4. What made me smile at no cost yesterday was discovering that I already had every ingredient I shall need to make my gluten free Christmas cake later on this week. And it will get baked at no cost too, in my small electric oven which will be powered by our solar panels. And we’re not giving gifts again this year, but instead donating money to Aussie Helpers, which supports Australian farmers in their sixth year of total drought. In previous years we’ve donated to Oxfam, but this trouble is closer to home. Much better than buying useless plastic or electronic ‘stuff’.

  5. What a nice thing to think about. At work we all have to think of one positive new thing about our day and that’s a nice thing to do. So this week I have done no shopping bar a few groceries. I have been enjoying, no, loving, that my Mollie gets so much out of being the school dog at our local special needs school. She goes every Wednesday all day, never wears a lead, wanders wherever she wants, including into classrooms if the door is open and is so happy to spend time with the kids. One child, who was scared of dogs, loves hers so much she asked her parents to get a dog and that dog is called Mollie! There have been other things but that’s top 😊

    • I like the idea of thinking about a positive thing every day.
      Wow – what a fantastic job for Mollie to have – I know PAT dog, but she has to be supervised during her visits. How great that Mollie can just be part of the school – what a special thing to be able to be part of.

  6. Max and Sam are so sweet! We have been renovating our house to provide me with a study and the boy with a gymnasium! That is his gift!

  7. Awww, Max and Sam look as gorgeous as ever, don’t they? Although, I must admit, Sam is looking even more handsome after his grooming session πŸ™‚
    As for me, I’ve been enjoying the company of my gorgeous daughter this week and, between that, and trying out some new crochet patterns, this week has been a fantastic one for me – and without having to buy anything to do so (thank heavens for my large yarn stash!) Lol

  8. I’ve just been introduced to you via ‘Love those hands at home’ Kerry. I’m taking time out from getting ready for Christmas in a low-consumerish way to say what this week’s Christmas activity has been. Well….making Christmas cards (I do send some e-cards, but they are a bit cheerless), finishing the hampers for family largely made of home made treats, feeding the Christmas cake with hooch, and continuing my vow, when I DO buy presents, of avoiding the big multi-national stores – and Amazon of course, my pet hate..
    People like you and Kerry are even beginning to persuade me that 2015 should be the year when I learn how to do something in the textiles field, whether it’s to sew, crochet, or something else. Hope your dog is still looking as fetching as in the moment when he left his beauty parlour!

    • Welcome!
      Sounds like you are plenty creative even without textiles/yarn! I am not sending any card this year, but I am going to hand-write some letters this week… I think they will be much more special!

      • They will. I’m having a hard time getting back to letters, which I love too, as I get so few back. Keep trying, eh?

  9. At some point, I don’t quite remember when or why even, our family stopped giving Christmas presents. We get together, eat a lot, and enjoy the holidays but we don’t open presents. If I’m honest, sometimes I miss the tradition aspect of it a bit but none of us want to go back to the shopping and giving of gifts no one really needs! So, yes! Spend less, live more–hear, hear! And those dogs . . . so darn handsome!

  10. John Boshier

     /  December 12, 2014

    Sam never needs grooming? Do you want to swap for one who would provide enough hair for you to knit something with?

  11. We made cinnamon and salt dough Christmas ornaments for our homemade Christmas tree and I gave my eldest daughter a gift I have been working on for months now, 5 amigurumi dolls of her favourite band “Big Bang”. I am doing the big reveal of what they looked like and the patterns I used as the basis for my ideas today. Drop around and tell me what you think :). I have been working on them for so long I no longer know what to do with my fingers anymore! πŸ˜‰


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