Ten Ways on How to Avoid the Buy, Buy, Buy...
This article is part of Hoagies' December Blog Hop: Holiday Gifts: Bye Bye Buy Buy!
Today is Black Friday (Nov. 28, 2014 - the day after Thanksgiving in the US). It's also notorious for the herd mentality buy, buy, buy day where people are trampled on for latest televisions, computers, and toys. To me, it's depressing.
This morning, a BBC article, 'Black Friday': Police Called to Supermarket Crowds, was a bleak read for me. This day and concept has now spread to the UK (where my husband is from, where I have lived, and my in-laws still live).
So how best to avoid this unfettered materialism run amok?? How to avoid that herd mentality? How to avoid the emotional tugs of needing the latest and greatest?
Since the spring/summer, I have been doing much research and reading about zero waste and refining my purge and resistance techniques. I think I've come up with some ideas.
1. Avoid as much media advertisement as possible. This is easier said than done. Even in dentist or doctor waiting rooms, there's usually magazines, such as People or Family Fun, with pages chockfull of holiday ads.
2. If possible, limit or ban television. We've been television-free for a little over a year now. We don't regret it for a second. My son watches videos online and can successfully avoid being a captive advertiser's victim.
3. AVOID shopping malls and big-box retail shops as much as humanly possible (preferably at all times, not just the holidays). If you actually need to buy some socks for your child/ren, then try to shop when you're pressed for time in one retail store, such as Target, and not subject yourself to impulse buying. Browse in a library NOT with retail therapy.
4. Consider shopping at charity, thrift or consignment stores instead of hitting the mall. If you shop at a charity or thrift store, it's often a double win situation where you and the charity benefits. You help others and the environment when you shop at charity and thrift stores, as well as your wallet.
5. Donate to charity. Clean out the cupboards. Remove the 'junk' from your home. Simplify your home and lifestyle. You'll feel refreshed and invigorated when you do.
6. Read, listen, or watch about the Zero Waste movement. Embrace the motto: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot.
7. Read, listen, or watch The Story of Stuff or about Garbage-ology. Let's face it. We all have mounds of stuff in our home.
8. Visit a museum or attend a cultural event instead of giving a gift. The Nutcracker Ballet is a popular cultural event during the holidays around my neck of the woods.
9. Make a gift or create something homemade. DIY lip balms, lotions, teas, cough drops or anything else. My grandmother and great-grandmother would knit entire designer Barbie doll collection clothes and accessories for the holidays as well as mittens, hats, scarves, and sweaters.
10. Pinterest!!! Best site for crafts, DIY, hobbies, and anything else. No one said you had to come up with a flurry of brilliant recipes or ideas for fairy houses. With Pinterest, however, there are plenty of people who do and then post for others. So if you are tapped out of ideas or hard pressed for what to do with old sweaters, turn to Pinterest. You can search under a subject/s (ie. DIY) or for a specific item like no-bake pumpkin cups. You can also follow someone's board. You'd be amazed how many cleaver people and cleaver ideas are posted there. And your wallet will be amazed too.