Nothing new: Week Eight

prepared1 - sash milnePIN IT


I’ve been struggling a little bit with my sense of self in the past few weeks, not the usual mother-guilt and self doubt that most people have every now and then… but more my practical sense of self. Who am I separate from the things I consume? It seems to be part of the process for me… a subtle yet important redefinition of self. I’m not talking about some of the more traditional methods of consumption either. I’m not talking about fashion or cosmetics or homewares. But consumption within the market economy with which you identify. Even the “simple living” economy is it’s own consumer niche. I’ve started reading further into the blogosphere trying to get a handle on this idea… where blogs that preach simplicity and chasing the good life also push product. Because it doesn’t matter who you are, there is a product designed just for you.

I might not be in the niche for high fashion or top end cosmetics, but I certainly fall right into the niche of sustainable kitchenware, metal straws, bench top composters, high pressure canning kits, ethically made sandals, organic household goods (may be on the top of my amazon search lists right now)… whilst I can’t buy these things (and so many more), they are symbols of a market economy all of their own.

This project is forcing me more and more to reassess my own behaviours and bad habits. To look further inside and to find out where some of this urge to consume is really coming from. Is it a need to fit in? (Yes, I’m sure it is). The way we perform the self is an important element of the human experience. But can we avoid consumer conformity and still fit in?

And can we go without shaving our legs?

See… I’ve just run out of plastic razors. I’ve been doing a bit of research on plastic razors and the sheer amount of them that are estimated to be polluting the earth in landfill. So I’m not really keen on purchasing more. But then… I’m getting pretty hairy and I don’t know if I love that either (I really don’t). I’ve started running pretty thin on most of my bathroom and cleaning products and I’ve started to experiment with homemade products more and more. Bicarb soda, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, lemon and coconut oil seem to be the only ingredients I need for cleaning both body and home. Bicarb soda is perhaps the best kids shampoo ever. It doesn’t sting. It’s so easy to use and easy to rinse out. Ok, so it doesn’t have a bright green dinosaur on the packaging like the one we have always bought in the past and it doesn’t create great bubbles that smell like fake fruit salad in the bathtub. But it works…

I’ve been meaning to set up a clothes swap in my local area. I don’t know many people here and my confidence has taken a big hit in the past so I’m a bit slow to reach out these days. I’m a member of a local group and I’m trying to encourage myself to get more and more involved. To ask for help (like borrowing air matresses for guests) and to get involved more with the great people who live around us. One member of this group suggested a clothes swap yesterday and I was excited to jump on board. I’m starting to realise that this project is not just a commitment to myself and my own ethics but a commitment to other people to.

Because it’s impossible to do it alone.

Kind of like motherhood. Sometimes we just have to open ourselves up to others… so we don’t go insane.

Similar Posts:

  • February 26, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Jen - Hey lovely. My motto is I shave what I want when I want… Which is nothing ever! Haha. I do want however… I’ve gotten really good at doing it myself. I buy wax kits but maybe try making your own sugar wax? I’ve never done it but I know that it’s pretty common practice in certain parts of the world.

    • February 26, 2014 - 6:07 am

      Jen - I mean I do wax. And want. Haha
      Big loveReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2014 - 7:43 am

    Jessica - Have you considered using a straight razor? My husband stopped using disposables and bought a straight razor and strop (to sharpen it) and I have used it a few times on my legs. It’s not bad but you do have to get used to it.ReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    aussiemor - This has been really inspiring for me and I love these posts. I’ve cut back a lot with my shopping and trying to live on one income for February too. It’s been an eye opener but a really good one!
    I never even thought of all the plastic razors going into landfill, it’s scary pretty much everything does!

    I find pretend window shopping helps curb the desire to shop, sometimes I even put it in the ‘cart’ but after really thinking about it and evaluating what we have in our home non of it gets bought!

    Thank you for being so inspiring and for keeping it real as well!ReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2014 - 4:08 pm

    sarah - I prefer waxing anyway being so light skinned an dark haired – lasts longer and regrowth thinner! You can use little cotton strips of fabric that wash and re-use over and over. And I’m sure sugar wax is easy enough to make, if a little messy!! xReplyCancel

    • February 26, 2014 - 7:01 pm

      Sash - I’m also light skinned/dark haired… but I lack the guts to rip the strip off myself… haha. It’s always been my problem.ReplyCancel

  • February 26, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    Danielle - Hi, I just found you through the gorgeous Zanni and I have a gift for you.
    Check out Ananda Palmer’s TedX talk about asking and receiving.
    Timely, apt and oh so perfect.
    Won’t help you with your spider legs though, Chewbacca.ReplyCancel

    • February 26, 2014 - 7:03 pm

      Sash - Haha. thanks for the smile. I’ll check out the talk. I’m a bit of a TED talk junkie, but I don’t think I’ve seen that one!ReplyCancel

  • March 5, 2014 - 12:00 am

    GoldenSyrupGirl - I’ve loved reading your blog for over a year now, and am even more into it with the nothing new initiative. I’ve got a little girl too and it really is a poignant time to pause and think about what your think you need and why. We’re trying to buy our first house at the moment and it’s tough and I don’t think we’ve really grilled ourselves about why we’re exhausting ourselves financially and emotionally when we are completely in love with our tiny rented flat. I suspect it’s because we’re in our 30s and everyone we know has a proper house and we feel left out. Anyway, that’s by the by. My best tip for DIY beauty products – and this beats every body scrub I have ever used, ever, is a few teaspoons of sugar (either what we call caster or granulated in the UK works best) mixed with a few drops of olive oil. Just massage it into wet skin (face or body) and rinse. Doesn’t help hairy legs though, sorry!ReplyCancel

  • March 5, 2014 - 5:04 am

    georgia - I just read about your project, my congrats, I admire you that you are successfully doing so. I try hard to spend as less as possible, but it s a very difficult task for me. Good luck & strength to carry it on!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *