Shopping and the Enviroment

Recently, you may remember that we went BPA free with regards to Charlie’s baby bottles–basically, a chemical that the US had deemed safe, was found to be not safe by the Canadians. All of the sudden, US companies and manufacturers were pledging to eventually go BPA free. While researching the issues, I started to find that BPA isn’t the only chemical that concerns people. There are others.

So, I started reaseaching going green a little bit more–I started reading a book, and Della directed me to this video. The combination really got under my skin. To summarize the video (although I high recommend watching it in it’s entirety), stuff is produced at great cost to our planet, often this stuff involves hazardous chemicals, we buy the stuff because we think it will make us feel better, we get home and throw the stuff away because it’s crap. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I mean, it makes sense. We get out of our ginormous gas guzzlers that we bought on credit, we drag our sluggish butts into stores where we buy pre-packaged, mass-marketed junk that we fully expect to throw out in the next few years. I am a horrible offender. Horrible. I have mountains of stuff and at this point I don’t even know why I own half of it. I sent about six full boxes to Goodwill when we moved in January and I’ve still got too much stuff. I keep buying more stuff too–magazines, t-shirts, shoes, you name it. I love shopping and buying stuff. I think I like acquiring it more than I actually like the stuff.
Here’s the stuff:

That’s three closets in my house.

Here’s the stuff in the garage:

Close Up:

I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve got NO organization, and there’s NO way I could begin to know what I have much less wear it all. Keep in mind, I already got rid of at least three full boxes of clothes. I never really felt bad about buying a bunch of stuff–I wasn’t hurting anyone, and I didn’t have credit card debt. I’ve changed my mind, though. I need to make do with less, think about the kinds of materials used, and I need to think about quality over quantity.

So, my mission:

  1. Buy less.
  2. Investigate second-hand and vintage stores
  3. Find new homes for things I don’t wear.
  4. Get rid of enough stuff to make my wardrobe manageable.

To kick things off, I’m giving away two pairs of shoes. Size 7.

First, I have some hoe-tastic red plastic stilettos that I wore for two hours and I wasn’t even standing up. They haven’t seen the light of day since. Maybe you need them.

Next, I have a pair of never-worn (other than for the picture), off-white cowboy boots with gold accents. They are leather and the brand-name is BCBGirls. Got a little cowgirl in ya? Let me know. I have another pair from this brand that I wore to a country concert and they are very comfortable and I got several compliments on them.

So, if you’re interested in the free shoes, email me at barnyardmama [at] gmail [dot] com. If more than one person is interested in a particular pair, then I’ll put names in a hat. If you don’t care about the shoes, please, go watch the video or even just ask yourself about all the stuff you buy–do you NEED all of it? Some stuff we do need, a lot of stuff we purchase just for the sake of buying something. Time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’m going to try to give away stuff every Saturday. I’m going to pay the postage and everything.

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  1. Get thee to!! No need for postage!

  2. Wow! I’ve never been linked to on someone else’s blog post! I actually had to re-read to make sure it said MY name!

    I am trying very hard to limit my stuff, too. Interestingly enough, I was planning on writing a post about it soon. It shocks me how easily junk builds up, and how easily I forget about things that in the store I was SURE I couldn’t live without.

    Nice shoes, but not quite my style. Cool you are giving them away on here though! Fun!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I’m really wishing that I was a size 7 in shoes. I totally dig those red hoochie heels. :)

  4. Man, I don’t need either one of those pairs of shoes, but sitting here looking at them, I really want them. But, I, too, need less crap. So no, thank you. πŸ˜‰ Freecycle is a pretty good idea for getting crap you want to people who want it. I joined, but there’s nobody interesting who lives near me. ;-(
    I also lack organization–what’s up with that?

  5. Shannon says:

    We’ve been doing the same thing…downgrading. We live in too big of a house and buy too much stuff. We recycle as much as humanly possible and are starting a garden, etc. etc… It saves money and saves “stuff”.

  6. sucks that i’m a size 8… those red shoes look fantastic!

  7. Small Town Girl says:

    I’m a 7, but there’s no way that either of those shoes would fit into my wardrobe! πŸ˜‰

    Such a good idea you’ve got here–giving stuff away sounds wonderful. I’ve been thinking about boxing up some clothes that I won’t be wearing again (since they’re too small) and bringing them to goodwill. I’ve got TONS of clothes that don’t fit anymore (and probably never will)

  8. I’ll confess that I went to freecycle and I dont’ understandthe web site at all–I was a bit overwhelmed by it’s business. If no one around here ends up with the shoes then I will definitely take them to Goodwill. I’m just trying to drum up a little excitement about having less stuff and trying to recycle and all that.

  9. Mannyed says:

    What about a garage sale? Couldn’t hurt to make some cash, right? Although I do understand that you probably don’t have time to have one of those considering you have a baby to take care of.

  10. Haz Bien says:

    Maaaaaan, I’m bummed that I’m an 8. Those red shoes are HOT! Not that I need any more shoes… Right now, I’m at about a new pair every two weeks. Ridiculous. You’ve inspired me to buy less!

  11. luckeyfrog says:

    I’m usually somewhere between a 7 and 8 in shoes- there’s a chance those might work! I wouldn’t get any use for the cowboy boots, but I think the red ones are cute (if I wore a calm enough outfit, haha). I know shoe sizes vary- any idea if these are a bigger size 7 or a smaller size 7? (Or if these fit but you’re normally a bigger or smaller size?)

  12. I am totally not a size 7. Ok… I don’t need more shoes. I have plenty of my own that I don’t wear much.

    For the last 4 or 5 years, I have been totally into buying less. I basically accomplish that goal too.

    Every year I buy two or three pair of shoes – one or two for summer and one for winter – then I wear them to death and buy another two. This year, I won’t even be buying shoes for summer because last year’s are still good. I own three to four pairs of black pants. This is all you need for a week and if my pants are the same colour then shopping for tops is easy. I don’t have to worry about it not matching. I even buy stuff from thrift stores sometimes.

    Of course… it also helps that we have been broke for the last 18 months. A little hard to think about splurging when you don’t have the money.

    This all started when I was on vacation one year and the bed and breakfast owner was asking about ‘laying around’ stuff. Basically knick knacks that you buy that collect dust. Right then and there I vowed to buy less ‘laying around’ stuff. For the most part… I think I have bought less. I can’t say I have bought absolutely none but I think I can say that I have certainly cut down.

  13. Nadine Hightower says:

    I’m not a 7!!
    And the only time I wear my red heels…well…I’m not standin’ on them either!!

    And that is good news about Charlie!! Go Charlie Go!!!

  14. White Hot Magik says:

    I was going to suggest freecycle too. I use it, it should just let you sign up for an email list in your area. Then post what you have to give away. Much like you did here. Although I think Elizabeth might shrink her feet for those red heels. ; ) Too bad I am a much bigger size…

  15. luckeyfrog–I think that these shoes would be too small–I wear a small size seven and they fit perfectly. Stay tuned, though, because I know I have at least a pair or two that are too big–might be perfect for you.

  16. shoeaddict says:

    I’m going to check out freecycle. I have so much stuff. I love the red shoes but I am not a size 7. I am an 8 or an 8.5.

  17. Quadius (Billy Paul) says:

    You might laugh if you actually read this, but I was thinking about telling you I would like to choose. :-)

    All kidding aside, my Frau, who will be visiting here in the next three weeks, would love to have the boots if they’re still available. I’ll send you an e-mail.
    Billy Paul