Monday, April 7, 2008

only mint green...

hello, my name is meredith and i was addicted to buying stuff. it all started with an innocent trip to super target to get some milk....$150 later, i walked out in the consumer daze of 'how did that happen?' reliving the daze of mindless shopping, being sucked into buying stuff on clearance or just because it was cute and i need it, right? that's when i knew that things needed to change in my life, the checkbook said so...my husband said so.

so, i stumbled onto this compacting idea from my friend sara, and i have decided to join this compacting challenge for two months. i refer to myself as "mint green" because i am learning to become green in so many areas...but in some areas i just can't get myself to commit. i have been challenged over the past couple years, really since having kids, our life doesn't reflect what we believe. from all that we consume, the cars we drive,the groceries we buy, these all affect our health & environment.

there are many mamas out there that are much greener than me, but the goal for all of us is to get better at making choices for our families, our health and our environment, right? what i have found on this journey so far is that everyone goes at their own pace, it is okay to be green in some areas and not in others...for now. the ultimate goal is to make better choices. to stop and evaluate: is this the best for me? for my family? for my health? for my world?

so, in following in the footsteps of amy at gift of green, i have modified the compact challenge with my own exceptions. it is not as green as i would like, i can see my biggest downfall is gifts for others. i want to be able to give them something great & perfect...sometimes we can't find those second-hand. more thoughts & ideas on this topic in future posts, i'm sure!

here is my compact for the next two months:

in the year of our Lord 2008, in the month that brings showers for may flowers; i, mint green mama meredith, pledge not to buy anything new for two months.

the reason for this pledge is to help reverse the pressure of our family budget, to save money, to teach myself & my children to be satisfied with what we have, to distinguish between wants & needs and to begin to live a simple life.

the big game plan for avoiding the "gimmes" and the "i gotta's" include: not browsing on shopping websites, avoiding target with all my human strength, shopping at the grocery store rather than walmart, not taking the kids with me grocery shopping and evaluating which credit cards we can rid ourselves from.

exceptions for april & may:

-food...we all have to eat. i'm going to continue to concentrate on buying store brand vs. name brands, as well as shopping mostly at aldi (aldi is an amazing place...much like ikea for food!)

-meds & doc-in-the-box. we don't go here much & have been blessed with healthy kids, i am praying that this continues!

-may birthday gift for my daughter. her birthday isn't until about the end of the challenge, so i am hoping to find the perfect something through other means than buying "new", but i do have a back-up plan in place if i don't find the perfect thing. i will be searching craigslist & freecycle for my ideas.

-birthday presents for my kid's friends. i only find it fair to subject only my own family to this kind of living at this point...not their unsuspecting friends. although, i will keep my eye out for the perfect gift to the couple birthday parties we will be invited to over these next couple months. also, i would love to have my kids learn how to shop for their friends by asking: what do you think they'd enjoy? what makes them happy? what would be special to them? it might be that what would make this friend happiest would be a home-made gift, wrapped in love!

-postage...we have been moving more and more of our bills to online billing, but there are a few we must snail mail. for online bills, i have a slick little spreadsheet with all the user names & passwords. it is pretty easy and saves on the postage & gas to send it. our bank charges us to do
online banking through them, so instead i took the extra five minutes & made a spreadsheet. our citi card said that they planted a tree for us committing to online billing. citi card rocks!

-new shoes & unders for the kiddos....no further explanation needed for that one.

[this post is cross-posted at mint green mama]

6 comments:

Jenny said...

Very cool!

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