Well, we've discussed this as a family once before and have now decided it should come to pass. For the next year we are going to attempt to...not buy anything new. What? That's right. No new anything. No new toys. No new yarn. No new bike parts. No new books. No new kitchen chotchkie. No. New. Clothes.
As a bike-commuting-homeschooling family we have always done things a little differently than our neighbors. That's fine, and the good people of Very-Republican-Town, Illinois certainly have the right to live as they will, just as we do. But, the more my husband and I see of how we are collectively junking up the earth, the more we are wanting to do something so contrary, maybe it will affect us and others in a big way. Any way, in the mean time, it is a challenge that the kids are willing to take on with us. And, of course we will still buy things or acquire them. We will go to thrift stores, garage sales and look at sites like Craig's List.
We might end up bending the rules a little. For example, what if we are on a field trip to a museum and there's a spectacularly engaging, informative, educational piece of toy/book/build-your-own DNA strand chotchkie in the gift shop? What then? Do I deny my kids the chance to follow up on what we just saw in the museum and therefore possibly shut off what would have been their lifelong interest in dinosaur poop, or footwear from around the world? Maybe not. On the other hand, can we wait until we get home and find out more about the subject at the library or on-line and then...build our own crap?!? Maybe this not buying anything thing will cause us to become more patient, resourceful, creative, frugal, discerning, environmentally aware and less clingy to the things in life that really don't matter--namely, all the plastic (literally and figuratively) junk that surrounds us.
Wish us luck on our year-long journey. We welcome you along for the ride.