Shopping Secondhand as Spiritual Practice

A few weeks before Christmas, two of my party animal friends* and I met for a hot ladies’ night out: to the local Goodwill.

And let me say, we shut that joint down. (Seriously, though, we weren’t the last ones out: there was definitely a night owl Mennonite family in line behind us.)

The only rule was this: we could shop for clothes for ourselves BUT NOT FOR OUR KIDS. (Because everyone knows I love baby clothes.)Read More »

Induced Demand

OK, is this a term you’ve come across before? I was reading the blog Root Simple recently when I encountered it for the first time, and now I can’t stop applying it to, well…everything.

What does induced demand mean? Well, have you seen Field of Dreams? OK, well, me neither. (I’m a terrible daughter.) But nearly everyone knows that line — “Build it, and they will come.”Read More »

Buy It Once, Buy It For Life

We are thick into birthday season in our family, a time in which summertime Scout will mourn as Pippin and Roo celebrate their Halloweeny birthdays, I fall around Thanksgiving, and J is fêted on Christmas Eve. And it’s got me thinking about buying for life.

It started, I think, with a wool blanket. I read about a mill in Prince Edward Island (where my Anne-girls at?) that makes wool blankets to last a lifetime, and, freezing through New England winters in grad school, I asked for one for my birthday.

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Crunchy Cons and (Anti?-)Consumerist Posturing

Ok, so here’s a sincere question: If we spend more time acquiring goods locally and ethically, doesn’t this mean we are becoming more materialistic, not less? We are definitely thinking more about stuff and probably spending more money, to boot. This is a question that’s been bothering me on and off since AP Environmental Science in twelfth grade, and most especially since a Dorothy Day-inspired private lecture on distributism got me thinking about consumer ethics again in a special way.

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Consumerist Shortcuts

Haven’t we all been there? We decide to get fit and get bogged down somewhere along the line, choosing a fitness plan, reading Amazon reviews of medicine balls, finding space in the spare room for the stationary bike, and we never really get started. Or this is going to be the year we are going to grow a real vegetable garden, so we get all the catalogs and three books from the library, or even order a dozen seed packets, but nothing ever really gets off the ground, much less in the ground.Read More »