what? buy nothing challenge and veggienism??

After my completely depressing previous post (HERE), I thought maybe I should continue being my complete humanness and share some other, more positive, learnings.

I decided I would create more challenges for myself, because why not, and because of my last post, I decided I want to try living on less (yes, even less than what I already live on) in an effort to be even more mindful of where the things I’m buying come from and what that looks like to the environment and the workers.

I gave myself a buy nothing challenge (to add to my already buy no new art supplies challenge) and a Veggienism (it’s a word now) Challenge.

The Veggienism Challenge has nothing to do with my rant, but it is happening because of my increasingly unhappy feeling I get when I eat meat. Especially meat that I know is factory farmed. I’ve known for years about the industry. I leaned out and back in for years, dipping my toes into Veggienism. And probably within the last week or so I’ve been thinking about making the switch for environmental reasons and reasons of the heart.  Today I just wanted to jump in.

vegetarian-sticker
Image Credit

 

From here on out I have to actually say no to my parents or friends meaty meals and not just eat them because I feel like I have (love) to. I already did manage to avoid meat at my parents house last Sunday.  And since my early 20’s, I never really liked to eat beef because it made my stomach feel sick and the last couple of years pork was starting to do the same so my diet was mainly chicken and some fish. And also fish kind of freaked me out too because the oceans are really polluted so I didn’t really eat much of it either.

Well today was Day 1.

Day 1 Veggienism:
I snooped Farmboy with baby love and… we ate one turkey and one sausage sample. They were tiny bite sizes. He really wanted them. Ok. I’ll stop making excuses. Also, I do think I have to accept that my son loves meat and even though it won’t be in our household diet, I know he’ll most likely be eating it when he’s not with me. The rest of the day went really good though because all I bought was fruits and vegetables and what we made for supper was super delicious.

2015-12-12 22.00.35
Recipe here for: Ginger Lime Asian Slaw

Day 1 Buy Nothing: 
I spent $180.28

Not exactly not buying.
After I tallied everything (I made sure to use only one debit card) and kept track of the amounts and what I bought which was: food and gifts/sample art products that I’m considering offering.

I learned buying nothing is impossible, especially when you have to feed a threenager. How does this 70 year woman do it? Story here.  Although I’m usually pretty awesome at buying only what I need, I have my moments. Like today. And it’s the holidays which is even worse, because normally I don’t buy at all. I actually think this is the most I’ve spent in years on gifts.

I can say though, that these “gifts” are experimental and are actually part of learning Do It Yourself projects. No excuses here, but it’s part of my entrepreneurial side, artistic side and my giving side – the curiosity of how can one make a living while being creative and then figuring out how that can translate into something that can work into society’s box and become a part of helping people.

Regardless, I’m going to have to create my own rules, because… well… I can do that.

Buy Nothing Challenge Rules:
Rule #1
(already in effect): No new art supplies.
Rule #2: No new anything. Second hand, thrifted, gifted or borrowed.
Rule #3: (already in effect): Any purchases for businesses (social enterprise and non-profit) must try to be according to the Zero Waste Business Principles.
Rule #4: Groceries don’t count but dining out does. Bye bye restaurants.
Rule #5: Bills, rent, necessities, gas, health etc. is acceptable.
Rule #6: Learn to make it (clothes, blah blah blah) myself.

I don’t know how long this will continue. Should I give myself a target goal? How about 1 month? A year?

The other reason I’m doing this is so I can focus on (some) of my goals:

1) pay off my debt in 2 years
2) save for my tiny home build in 3 years
3) save for my journey across North America in 5 years (I wanted to do this next year, but I’m being more realistic and it may be better to do it with Nathen when he’s a little older and can remember).

Well.. here’s to more of me discovering who I am.

Have you given yourself new challenges? Do you have any tips for me if you’re already on the path?

 

 

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20 thoughts on “what? buy nothing challenge and veggienism??

    1. Did you have any difficulties letting go? How do you make up for protein. It’s Day 2 and I’m already getting the “you need meat” talks from my parents. Sigh.

  1. Congrats on the change! I was poultry and fish only for two decades, but made the switch this year to just fish. I admire true vegetarians and vegans even more, but I know it’s tough and I’m not someone who wants (or can) spend a lot of time thinking about and planning food. It definately takes extra effort to go against the grain of one’s culture. I applaud your commitment to ethics!
    Lesley http://www.workinglook.com

    1. Thank you Lesley! I feel like that was what my life was like – chicken and fish. How are you feeling now without chicken? I really love chicken so it’s going to be hard to let it go.

  2. Holy crap- I do a load of laundry per DAY! But at least we are a family of 4…?!?! I love the buy nothing challenge- I am doing something very similar (2016). I plan to buy absolutely nothing for myself (and as little as possible for the family/home) that is not consumable. And another goal is to keep our minimal possessions as is, so *if* one thing comes into the house, one thing goes out, and ideally very little will come in. Not sure if you’re following my blog- nearowaste.wordpress.com but I’ll be posting about it in a couple weeks…! Good luck!

    1. haha yea – I started to try to only pick a few outfits that I’ll rewear for the week and my son does the same but it’s basically because he just loves what he’s wearing because everything is a supposed ninja costume. To minimize his laundry, he chooses to have his “pj’s” be his outfit for the next day. So choosing to wear less things per week helps, other than the obvious undies. I definitely read your blog 🙂 I’m excited to see how your minimal journey and your buy nothing journey goes.

  3. Your journey is so exciting. Changing your diet can be daunting, but it eventually just becomes second nature. I made the switch to veggie in 2012 and slowly over the course of that year (and I mean slooooowwwly) transitioned to veganism. It’s become such a positive part of my life and I hope your experience is much the same 🙂

    1. Hi Alisha,
      Thank you so much for the words of support. I needed to hear this as I’m having a hard time when there just is no one around me doing it. I’m still going though and hope to be at a place where I’m comfortable like you!

  4. I think a Vegan diet is a major boost to minimalism and zero waste. I have been a Vegetarian and primarily Vegan for 40 years. 99% Vegan I would guess. I raised a Vegan male child. My challenge for myself now is to even further reduce what I eat PRIMARILY to local farmers’ markets food. Locally grown. I did this years ago naturally and instinctively, but it meant I was at a farmers market every few days. My life seemingly became too busy for this, but not really. It was a lot of work, but I want to return to that practice because it is so much easier to walk away with zero waste when shopping at farmers markets. Although I have donated and tossed about 50% of my possessions and I have so much space at home, I have decided that I can reduce more starting this morning. Love your blog. You are beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much for writing me and telling me your experience. This is incredibly inspiring and motivating.

      My main issue is that no one around me is vegetarian or vegan and for some reason I get more comments about not eating meat than I do about not wanting to produce garbage!

      My goal this year is to switch to a CSA farm share and only eat local and in season.

      Thank you for taking the time to write me and read my blog. I am happy to hear about your journey. Have fun minimizing more this morning! I can’t wait to do the same 🙂

  5. Your blog is so inspiring! It’s great that you’re moving to the veg life! You definitely won’t regret it. There’s no doubt that there will be challenges, especially since you’re doing it alone. Why don’t you find vegetarian/vegan friend near you to keep you going? It’s always fun to go out with a friend who has the same interests and view of life as you. You’ll be able to share recipes and your favourite veg spots! There’s also a great support online with instagram and a whole array of plantbased accounts, they’re very inspiring! I just went vegan about six months ago and my only regret was not doing it sooner. Good luck to you 🙂

    1. Thank you Carissa for commenting!
      This is just what I needed to hear! I do have one veggie friend now, they are just kind of off the grid so it’s hard to get in touch. But the online groups are helping 🙂

  6. Hi Mailyne- I just found you through Exploring Alternatives and find your story so interesting. I am vegan and have been working towards zero waste for a bit now (so sort of going in the opposite direction of your journey).

    I would highly suggest watching Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knifes, and lots of youtube videos during your food transition. Cowspiracy might hit you the most since it has to do with the environmental impact of eating animal products, but all of this knowledge is imperative to going vegan. I always say its not about will power because when you have the knowledge eating animal products becomes a non issue.

    Also, make sure and do a slow transition. Its like dumping out all of your regular staples of what to eat and starting completely new, don’t fault yourself for not knowing what to do right away. There are tons of ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos on youtube, and you can search any type of food with the word ‘vegan’ in front of it and find lots of different recipes on how to make your favorites vegan.

    And lastly, kids love animals. If you start talking to your child about why you choose not to eat these products they will understand. Kids have greater understanding than adults in my experience. ‘Milk is for the cows babies not for us.’ Kids get it. 🙂

    Hope any of this helped!

  7. Hi Mailyne- I just found you through Exploring Alternatives and find your story so interesting. I am vegan and have been working towards zero waste for a bit now (so sort of going in the opposite direction of your journey).

    I would highly suggest watching Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knifes, and lots of youtube videos during your food transition. Cowspiracy might hit you the most since it has to do with the environmental impact of eating animal products, but all of this knowledge is imperative to going vegan. I always say its not about will power because when you have the knowledge eating animal products becomes a non issue.

    Also, make sure and do a slow transition. Its like dumping out all of your regular staples of what to eat and starting completely new, don’t fault yourself for not knowing what to do right away. There are tons of ‘What I Eat in a Day’ videos on youtube, and you can search any type of food with the word ‘vegan’ in front of it and find lots of different recipes on how to make your favorites vegan.

    And lastly, kids love animals. If you start talking to your child about why you choose not to eat these products they will understand. Kids have greater understanding than adults in my experience. ‘Milk is for the cows babies not for us.’ Kids get it. 🙂

    Hope any of this helped!

    1. Thank you so much for writing this to me and sharing your insight and knowledge! It’s extremely helpful and motivating. I will be sure to check out some of those suggested videos and movies and I also wish you all the best on your zero waste journey 🙂

  8. I love your blog!!! This new nothing idea is terrific! I have a 4 mos old and it’s really amazing how much you can make with a sewing machine and some old fabric…and I don’t sew that well either! I’ve been trying to limit any new purchases and so the first thing I ask myself before trying to buy something is ‘can I make it?’ and then the second question is ‘do I really need it>’. I’ve noticed that changing my way of thinking has made me become a lot more creative and resourceful (think McGyver minus the violence lol). Anyways, just wanted to say that your blog is really wonderful and can’t wait to see what I can learn from it!

    1. Hi Bansari,
      Thank you again for commenting on my blog with kind words and for sharing with me your stories. I love hearing about people that try new things! And also for sharing insight to Dizolve. I’d definitely be open to trying new products too, but I’ll wait until my 20 loads are done with my soap nuts.

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