Buying Nothing. Month Two.

So, a few folks have asked how my year of buying nothing is progressing. Overall, things are going well. I find that I most definitely shop less, do not shop recreationally, and have more time for reading, catching up with friends, and exercising.

I have allowed myself two “spending” areas:

  1. Food.
  2. Books.

I have—for years—been trying to get on the digital reading bandwagon, and while I can definitely see the advantages, there are many more disadvantages that just don’t pay off for me. I’ve gone back to reading actual books, and it’s amazing that I have been reading more, and reading things that are better quality.

Outside of those two areas, I can say that I don’t think I have spent much or purchased anything that isn’t consumable or a book. So, the short report: so far, so good!

 

Harry’s Razors

For the last 35 years, I have used Gillette Razors. They are available everywhere I’ve traveled around the world, and they work reasonably well. The trouble is, they are expensive. Really expensive. And the razor cartridges are usually under lock and key in stores, which makes you feel like a criminal when you buy them.

So about a year or so ago, I switched, to Harry’s. I received a Harry’s razor in a Birchbox that I tried for a few months. The Birchbox left a lot to be desired, but Harry’s was a hit.

The razor they sent me was a smoky blue (my least favorite color) but they are available in orange, green, and white. I’ve since purchased an orange one for travel and a green one to keep at my Airstream. The travel cover is a great accessory. I seriously can’t tell you how many times my unprotected Gillette razor cut me or my bag. No problem with Harry’s handy cover!

The blades are handcrafted in Germany, and they are—literally—razor sharp. They seem to last about 3x longer than the typical Gillette blade too. From the Harry’s site:

We spent over a year meticulously crafting our first Harry’s line. Our blades are made by German engineers with decades of experience honing high-grade steel. Our handles were designed to blend timeless simplicity and modern ergonomics. Our shaving cream comes from the same chemists who make creams for high-end brands. The result: a set of modern shaving products made with respect for the tradition of a good, clean shave.

Try Harry’s here. The trial pack is $15—or less than half the price of one pack of Gillette refills—Harry’s definitely gets my vote. I’m 50/50 on their shaving cream (I still prefer my time-tested Nivea brand), but their razors and refills are top shelf, as is their service, and speed of delivery. Plus, they have nice packaging!

Harry’s also offers a subscription service to make sure you’ll never run out of blades. I haven’t used that… but it seems like a nice option. I simply jump on the site and order replacements whenever I’m running low.

I like that Harry’s helps me to buy less, and buy only what I need. So not only are they less expensive and better quality, but they are also kind to your budget!

The year of buying nothing. 

My year of buying nothing is going reasonably well. I have made a small number of miscellaneous purchases bot nothing more than $10. 

I find, as I am eating more healthy food, that salads and power bowls are becoming more and more part of my diet. Despite this, the only bowls I have in the airstream are some shallow red ones. They are sturdy but not terribly practical when it comes to “deep dish” meals like oatmeal and soup. 

  

Enter, the “handle bowl” a sort of large latte mug that can be used for soups, stews, porridge and other “bowl based” meals. We happened to have two extra stashed away in cobalt and almost cobalt blue. 

They are the perfect cost-free addition to the airstream kitchen and perfect because the handles allow them to hang cleanly out of the way. 

Happy New Year! Resolutions for 2016…

Happy New Year, everyone!

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I’ve been reflecting lately on 2015, for me, it was a quiet and happy year, but for so many around me, it seemed stressful, sad, and fraught with difficulty. I give thanks for my many blessings, and I pray for those around me that their 2016 will be as blessed as mine will be.

Over the past few weeks, I have been considering a number of resolutions for the upcoming year:

  1. Continue to eat better/less/more mindfully.
  2. Continue to exercise more.
  3. Buy less (and buy less impulsively and more wisely.)
  4. Make an effort to become more sustainable.
  5. Simplify.
  6. Slow down.
  7. Support local businesses more and giant global corporations (like amazon) less.
  8. Focus less on “filler” and more on being “fulfilled.

As we march toward 2016, I am excited to be reflecting on my new years resolutions for the coming year. I’ve streamlined them, and amplified them a bit:

  1. Buy less. My goal, as some of you already have read, is to buy considerably less during 2016. I can’t say that I won’t buy anything, but I can say that I will try to buy much less.
  2. Read more. A book a week. I have tried—diligently—to get on the digital reading bandwagon with a Nook, then an iPad, then a Kindle. I just can’t do it… and as a result, I find myself barely reading anymore. The experience of reading a digital book is like reading a website, it’s ephemeral and the content is easily forgotten, at least in my mind. So this year, it’s back to paper for me. (I’ll post each book on this blog, so look for the #bookaweek)
  3. Simplify. I’m reasonably good at keeping life simple, but this year, I will make a greater effort to “cut the fat” (as my friend Frank and I refer to it), by getting rid of time vampires (things and people) in my life, thereby making time for things (and people) that really matter. One thing that I’m going to ax for sure: checking Facebook every day.
  4. Keep it small. I’m going to continue my streamlining efforts from this year. Marching into the new year with a very clean attic, a very clean office, and a very empty home, is making me happy. Now it’s time to crank that up a notch and get rid of even more. Better to borrow than to own, better than to share than to keep.
  5. … and lean. Keep running. I have really enjoyed running (and losing 30lbs) this year. I need to start the year strong and keep near my goal of 45km a week.
  6. Keep learning. It’s time to improve some of my skills: language (good, but could be better), music (nonexistent, but could exist), etc. I need to make time for hobbies and personal expansion.

What are your resolutions for 2016? Add your notes to the comments section below…and thank you for reading. I wish you all my best wishes for a very happy 2016!