Victoria resident Dana Stanley will be doing most of her shopping in grocery stores in 2018. That’s because she’s challenging herself to “buy nothing” this year.
?For me it?s really about making my money go to places where my values are, to align with my values a little more,? says Stanley who began the challenge as a New Year’s resolution.
While she can buy food, health care essentials, and get services (like getting a haircut), she won’t be purchasing any clothing, electronics or household items.
?Just no stuff. Nothing that takes up a physical presence that isn?t going to be consumed in a year,” Stanley says.
Stanley’s challenge was inspired by the Buy Nothing Project, a movement that encourages participants to reduce waste and save money by creating local exchange and gift communities.
?Saves a lot of time too because I?m like like ‘well I can?t look at you cuz I can?t buy anything so what?s the point,’? adds Stanley.
The Buy Nothing Project started on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington in 2013 and has since expanded to 20 countries. While most participants set guidelines and goals of “finding items for free” or “buying used”, most don’t make as big a commitment as Stanley has.
?[For me it’s] not a hard no, but the idea is to not purchase products that I don?t need,? says Carlynne Gustafson, Stanley’s friend who, inspired by Stanley, is taking on her own challenge to ‘buy nothing’. But she confesses she slipped the first week of January.
“I bought this new watch and [Dana] looked at me and I said I?m starting over this week. I?m still trying, I haven?t given up,” Gustafson said.
Stanley says she has been able to resist temptation so far.
“I compared by bank statements to last year this time and I?ve already not spent about at least $500 that I had spent last year in those two weeks of January, so probably Boxing Week sales.?
Both women say it’s about awareness.
“Rather than feeling guilty, I just recognize that I sort of lapsed for a moment, that I was like oh yeah, I fell back into my old habits,” says Gustafson.
?The actual abundance that I have, the wealth that I actually have, I wanna feel it instead of feeling like you’re always scrambling to get more,? adds Stanley.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated Stanley’s challenge was the ‘Buy Nothing Project’. It has since been clarified the ‘Buy Nothing Project’ is a separate initiative and was simply the inspiration for Stanley’s challenge to “buy nothing” for a year.