Spuds. Why Not!

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I love growing my own spuds.  Today, I dug up 2 kg (4 lbs) of volunteer potatoes from my garden.  Yes, volunteers! These spuds were ones I missed from the last of the summer harvest and grew over winter.  Fantastic and certainly one to put in the lazy gardener category.  Free spuds without any work except to dig them up. This got me thinking of the last time I was in the supermarket when I   [Continue Reading …]

Cash vs Card

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I have been thinking a lot about the different mechanisms that fuel our consumer culture.  Our current modus operandi is unsustainable. So lets talk about our burgeoning credit card debt and the psychological effect when paying cash vs card. It's not something people normally want to deal with so it is time to bring it out in the open. Credit Card Debt How did it get our consumer culture   [Continue Reading …]

What the World Needs Now Is Love…

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credit: ZazzleCoping okay with the heat or snow?  Hope you are all well, and enjoying the break. Now let me ask you.  What do you think the Earth needs, now that we have stuffed up our climate?  Here in Australia, our record heat continues, with no sign of abating, and many parts of the northern hemisphere are experiencing crazy climactic conditions.I think Earth needs a bit of   [Continue Reading …]

Our Frugal Christmas Preparations

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It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.... said Holly and Teddy!Yes folks. It is that time of the year again.  The season to be jolly and all that yuletide stuff.Today we put up the tree and decorated it with festive baubles and garland that we usually store in the shed.  We haven't bought decorations or a new tree for about 10 years, as the old ones do us fine. We also don't   [Continue Reading …]

What Will the Future of Shopping Look Like? Short Story.

The other day within my post about My Consumerism Meltdown (But I Got Better), I whinged and moaned about the new shopping facility that has been added on to our existing shopping centre.  The entire place has been revamped for a "2013 look and feel".All well and good, everyone is entitled to a rant now and then, but did I once offer up a viable solution besides farmers and craft markets?   [Continue Reading …]

My Consumerism Meltdown (But I Got Better)

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I had a weird experience that involved a visit to the town's newly refurbished and extended shopping centre (mall).  It was very emotional and I got quite worked up.  Let me tell you about it.Picture this.  Saturday morning, feeling quite fresh, and excited about the weekend.  This particular Saturday was the date for the annual local festival, so I knew that most people in   [Continue Reading …]

The Diderot Effect

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"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for" -Epicurus, Greek Philosopher (341 BC - 270 BC)I found this quote when stumbling through the web the other day, and it got me thinking. a while back I remembered reading about a psychological effect that describes this quote to a tee.Please let me   [Continue Reading …]

Shopocalypse 2012

As the end of the Mayan long count calendar comes to an end, and another one begins, I see no sight of the predicted end of days.  Then again with only two hours to go here in Australia before the big day, I may be a bit earlyIf you are reading this on the 21st then, of course,  it was just another false end of the world prediction that will go down in history along with the   [Continue Reading …]

Buy Nothing New Month – Final Update

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As the month draws to a close, let’s have a look at how it has been going so far.Purchases to date;Second Hand - Soap making gear for workshop; including a spoon, chopping board, pot, jugs, etc.Second Hand - Clothing; a belt.Second Hand - I bought an iPad 2 for Kim from my youngest daughter Megan. She no longer needed it, so I took it off her hands.Swapped - Stick blender from L @ 500m2 for a   [Continue Reading …]

Buy Nothing New Month

Who thinks that our con$umer culture has gone crazy? Has Affluenza gone wild? Are people trying to break long ingrained spending habits or still shop till they drop?I know that I used to buy all sorts of stuff that never got used, or played with, or even looked at after I brought it home from the store. Thankfully those days are well behind me however it was such a waste and according to some   [Continue Reading …]

Hurry – Last Days!

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If I told you that this blog was closing down in a few days, what you be your reaction? Would it be to read more of it, or urge me to continue writing? Or would it be to wonder about my motivation?Well, rest assured dear reader.  This blog is not closing down; I just wanted to prove a point.  This is just another of my observational consumerism posts.So did you experience an emotional   [Continue Reading …]

Why We Need Degrowth

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Let me introduce you to a concept that some may not have heard about.  It is the concept of  degrowth.  Wikipedia lists the following about degrowth:"Degrowth (in French: décroissance, in Spanish: decrecimiento, in Italian: decrescita) is a political, economic, and social movement based on Ecological economics, anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and   [Continue Reading …]

Megan Learns A Lesson

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Thanks for all the great comments on the last post titled "iPhone Marketing Tricks".  It turned out to be very popular with you all.Long time readers may know that I have four wonderful children, three of which have grown up and left home, leaving Ben living with Kim and I on the urban farmlet. My youngest daughter Megan as always struggled with the beast that is popular consumerism, however   [Continue Reading …]

iPhone Marketing Tricks

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The media is full of the latest phone craze, the iPhone 5. Yes, I agree that it is a good looking phone (that's it on the left).  Yes, I agree that it is a very useful device, as are iPads, Kindles, Android phones and other tablets.  To have all the functions of a larger computing device in one small object is just simply amazing, and I am being very sincere.Think about holding   [Continue Reading …]

The Good Life Is Coming Soon

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Did you know that in our town you can buy the good life if you just fork out $155,000 for land, and a lot more for a home built on it? If you believe the billboard on the wall of our local shopping centre, then the good life is as simple as a massive mortgage and a nuclear family, and is always coming soon.  It makes me laugh.  This to me subtlety implies that you will not   [Continue Reading …]

Consumerism Calamity

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Dear readers. You would not believe some of the emails that I receive in my inbox.  People ask me to promote all sorts of things, from chemical fertilizers to free trips to car shows in Sydney, to eco television sets, all with the offer of a free sample or perks.To put your mind at ease, I have never been tempted to take up any of these offers, because I hold true to my values, and   [Continue Reading …]

Over The Cliff Without A Lemming?

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Do you ever have the feeling sometimes that you are not doing enough to green up your life, even though in reality, you are probably well ahead of the pack regarding living lighter on the planet? When do you know how much voluntary simplicity is enough? Well Ghandi put it best when he said “Live simply so that others may simply live.” There is never enough people in western society living a   [Continue Reading …]

Money IS Time

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Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the phrase "Time Is Money".  Let me give you my spin on the term.Everyday, most of use use money to purchase goods and services from other.  Things that we can't or don't make ourselves, like food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment.   In their basic form these things represent someone else's time to which they have assigned a   [Continue Reading …]