• Economy,  Shopping

    Week 16: Regift

    This week’s topic is a quick and easy way to pass along unwanted stuff from your family to someone else who is more likely to enjoy it. Regifting is easy: when it comes time to find a present or gift for someone, consider giving them a gently used item from your own home that your family has finished with. In my house, regifting started because my oldest son hates colouring. When he was really young he got tons of colouring books, crayons, and markers from family and friends. It all sat collecting dust on a shelf for years. An avid colouring fan myself, I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it away.…

  • Economy,  Shopping

    Week 15: Stop Buying “Stuff”

    We live in a culture of stuff. Our economic model requires us to continue consuming stuff at a frightening pace. Many people define themselves by the stuff that they own and most people believe that acquiring stuff will make them happy. It’s so engraved into our culture that it’s actually hard to stop buying stuff. And by stuff I mean the objects that we bring into our lives that we don’t necessarily require but that we believe will make our lives better. Anything from kitchen gadgets to fancy shoes to toys and games. When I think of “stuff”, I often associate it with the extra junk I used to come home with when I…

  • Economy,  Shopping

    Week 11: Shop Local

    So we’ve talked about buying your food locally but most of us spend money on more than just food. Whether it’s clothes for the kids, a new book, or hardware for home renovations, we all spend money on different things each week. How we spend those dollars and cents can have a huge impact on our local communities, as well as on large socio-economic and environmental issues. I’ve always enjoyed the “leaky bucket” analogy to understand why shopping locally is important. As explain by one article: “In the leaky bucket analogy for local economies, money flows into a region to circulate through local businesses like water into a bucket. Water…

  • Economy,  Shopping

    Week 8: Buy Second Hand

    I believe that one of the single biggest changes that you can make that will have a positive effect on the economic and environmental issues face us today is to buy second hand whenever possible. Buying used goods means that the supply for new goods is reduced and that waste is diverted from landfills. Buying second hand breaks the production cycle that relies so heavily on cheap oil and carbon emissions without requiring you to make any personal sacrifice! In fact, it can be a ton of fun! Almost every city has options for second hand shopping. There are chain stores like Value Village or Goodwill but there are also small, local consignment shops…