I think I’m addicted.
Yet unlike millions in this world of mass consumption and waste, it’s not shopping I’m addicted to, rather the opposite. I’m addicted to inventive ways to make “buy nothing” work whatever the circumstances.
It started many years ago when I moved to Australia to work for a year. I resolved to live the year without buying anything new. Then my rules were relatively simple – stuff, be that clothing, furniture, household gadgets etc etc, had to be bought second hand, scavenged, borrowed or done without. I managed well across the year and only had to buy three things new – a mattress (it’s illegal to sell secondhand mattresses in Australia), a smart dress (when I spilled coffee all down the front of the one I was wearing half an hour before an important client meeting) and a top (when I was meeting a guy for a date and didn’t have time to go home and change a jumper that was just too warm). I still have the dress and top nearly ten years later so perhaps they weren’t such bad buys after all.
So when Camden FoE turned the buy nothing day into a monthly event I was the first to put my hand up. I have to confess I’ve not always been successful but each time attempted to live a day without spending anything I’ve been reminded of how much we spend without thinking. One month I had planned how to go to my book group for the evening on zero cash (cycle home, eat, cycle out, drink water in the pub) but was completely scuppered by a work emergency which meant I needed to take the tube straight from work, eat whilst I was out and then think, well I’ve already failed so a glass or two of wine on top won’t matter. The following month I had a date. My date had found somewhere to go for free with free refreshments and again I relied on my bike. Only to find myself with a flat tyre in central London at 11pm with little choice but to jump in a black cab with my bike to get back home!
I am delighted to say that last month I finally managed to last the whole day without spending a single penny. And no, I didn’t just hibernate at home. I ate home baked cake with a friend and then went to a corruption lecture in the evening. A fabulous day, and all for free. Join us on the 25th and see just how addictive buying nothing can be.
My first Buy Nothing Day of the year fell on the one day a week I’m not in college, so though I cycle in and out it made things easier in one way. It also meant I had most of my reading to do and was in a race against time before my laptop died. I’ll admit that when it did, I plugged it in. Other than this I stayed away from recharging my phone or using appliances, not counting light switches (I’m not at candle light stage on BND, yet).
My housemate works from home so I did hang around the kettle a bit to see if he boiled enough water for two cups of tea that I could take advantage of; undertaking Buy Nothing Day can stray into looking for loopholes I find. I stayed out of the shops though, and kept my usage much lower than it generally is, so it was a pretty legitimate BND for me, and also one that I found rewarding.
I’ve found myself considering my footprint that bit more since, and curbing it somewhat in line. It’s nice to feel a little less of a Global Northerner driving the climate crisis for a day. We’ll all have to soon limit our consumption significantly one way or another I reckon, so it’s good to get a head start.
Feel free to give it a try this 25th and let us know how it went for you.
Camden Friends of the Earth will be screening Leonardo Di Caprio’s documentary about Climate Change ‘Before the Flood’, a must see production.
Compelling and beautifully executed, the film explores the dynamics at play in the fight against global warming.
The evening will also be an opportunity to socialise and network, so bring your friends and spread the word in your local group!
The screening will be at 7.30pm. We will be there from 7pm.
Entry is free but a voluntary donation to help us recoup the operational costs is welcome.
To give us an idea of numbers, grateful if you could RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday the 25th will see Camden FoE holding it’s monthly Buy Nothing Day. As an effort to better understand and consider our consumption levels in day-to-day life (and of course the need for them to change drastically in order to achieve environmental sustainability), we Camden FoE members pledge to -as far as reasonably possible- not buy anything, travel only by foot or by bike, and not use any electrical appliances for the full day. In August, Earth Overshoot Day highlighted the environmental overreach our economic system fucntions on and lifestyles operate within. The UK had in fact reached it’s ‘National Ecological Deficit Day’ (the point where a country’s consumption overtakes it’s ability to ecologically regenerate resources consumed) much sooner, on April 6th http://www.overshootday.org/about-earth-overshoot-day/national-ecological-deficit-days/
So with this in mind, along with the consideration for the 6 billion odd people who don’t get to have our lifestyles but feel the effects of them, we also try to approach our Buy Nothing Day as an opportunity. Being a Sunday I’m aiming to spend it in a park, weather allowing, with a book or friends or both. I imagine it’ll be a good motivator to walk; something I love doing but never seem to find time for, and I hope to have a good ol explore of parts of my borough I’ve yet to see. I’ll be actively looking for free events on rather than acknowledging them and putting them on the maybe pile.
If the idea of considering your effect on the world whilst possibly reconnecting with your area, loved ones and self in a new way sounds appealing to you, drop us a line and get on board (we might meet up to help each other through the withdrawl symtoms). Or feel free to go solo and let us know your experience afterwards. We’ll be sharing our own on here.
Basecamp 2016 has just drawn to a close and while we look forward to the next and to turning inspiration into positive action, Camden FoE members share their impressions on what makes Basecamp so unique:
We have been campaigning for the Borough of Camden to stop using glyphosate in our public green spaces for a year: it’s been an amazing journey and we couldn’t have got here without you!
Check out the progress we’ve made thanks to your support and learn more about what you can do to help us reach our goal of a #pesticidefree #Camden:
Thanks for watching, we hope you enjoyed it!
If you want to become a #pesticidebuster and join our campaign, please get in touch: email@example.com, we would love to have you with us!
You can sign our petition here.No comments
With the World Health Organisation classifying glyphosate as a probable carcinogen and retail groups across Europe banning products containing glyphosate from their shelves including Waitrose here in the UK, now is the time to ask your local garden centre to stop stocking these harmful products.
Over the last few months we have visited many garden centres whose shelves are still piled with these dangerous chemicals. They tell us they are just meeting consumer demand. That’s why we are asking you to write to them. We’ve drafted a letter that you can download, pesonalise and send to your local garden centre. For best results it is worth identifying who runs the store and writing to them directly. Download your letter here: Camden FOE downloadable and editable letter to garden centres.
We’d love to see any responses you get and would be happy to join you if you are able to arrange a meeting. Just contact us on firstname.lastname@example.orgNo comments
Over the next few months our #pesticidebuster bees will be buzzing around Camden and we’d love you to join us. We made our first stop outside Primrose Hill library on 16 April and, despite the cold, we added several new signatures to our campaign.
As well as signing our petition to ask the council to stop using pesticides, we also plan to write directly to garden centres and other retailers of pesticides who are close to the event to demonstrate the strength of local commitment to eliminating the most hazardous pesticides.
Finally we’ll be promoting Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count which runs from 19 May to 30 June and helping you identify the different species of bee.
Watch out for us at these next events:
- 21 May – Kentish Town Community Festival
- 26 June – South End Green Summer Festival
- 2 & 3 July – Jester Festival
- 17 July – Camden New Town Festival
- 31 July – London Permaculture Festival
Camden Friends of the Earth, Transition Kentish Town and Power Up North London invite you to a screening of the short film Biomass about the state of renewables in the UK.
The evening will feature guest speaker Pete Deane, author of the film and Ian Grant, expert on renewables from Transition Kentish Town and a Q&A session.
Please join us at 7pm for 7.30pm start, on Monday 21st March at The Grafton (first floor), 20 Prince of Wales Road, NW5 3LG (view map).
Entry by voluntary donation.No comments
Camden Friends of the Earth and Transition Kentish Town invite you to a screening of the hard-hitting documentary Toxic Soup about the politics of pollution and giant corporations, which manipulate the system to delay environmental reform for increased profits. Toxic Soup shares the stories of citizens across the world as they fight to keep their brood, water and air safe from ingrained patterns of corporate pollution.
The evening will feature guest speaker Nick Mole from Pesticide Action Network and will be a chance to learn more about Camden Friends of the Earth’s #PesticideFreeCamden campaign.
Please join us at 7pm for 7.30pm start, on Wednesday 27th January, at The Grafton (first floor), 20 Prince of Wales Road, NW5 3LG (view map).
Get your tickets here. The event is FREE.
#PesticideFreeCamden #PesticidebusterNo comments