Going Without

Person of the Planet Sponsored Article shared by Ruth Robinson  

I recently 'stumbled' upon this journalist and blogger. Who knew fashion, travel and sustainability would be in the same sentence, and linked together. Alden Wicker, journalist and founder of www.ecocult.com, does just that. The following is part one of a two-part reprinted article for P.O.P. Ms. Wicker is young, hip and has some interesting insights from the world of a 30-ish writer.


Going Without Buying Things for 200 Days (Part I of II)

By Alden Wicker

A few months ago, I went through the worst experience of my life: my father passed away.

It was a cancer which took him, and a small part of myself as well. As I reflect on the time preceding his death, there were so many hard parts. One of the hardest was not being able to mourn in peace.

Nope, in our society you can't just mourn a person's loss-you need to work. Not just at your job, but on piles of paperwork, people to notify and arrangements to be made. Finally, when I thought all of the hard work was over, I had to empty out my father's apartment. Little did I know that this would be the bitterest labor yet.

Going through my father's old things, I felt the loss of my father with each and every item I sorted. And there was a lot of sorting to do. It took weeks to clear out the lifetime of possessions in my single father's small apartment. Weeks to sell, donate, recycle or throw out the boxes and boxes of kitchenware, clothing, furniture, office materials, and so much more.

I threw away a normal life of accumulation.

Time, money, and effort had been heavily invested in getting all of this stuff-only to be disposed of with great difficulty. We were destroying the planet for future generations, all so that we could enjoy a short lifetime full of material possessions that in many cases were hardly used, rarely necessary and easily forgotten.

I decided that I didn't want this to be my "normal." And so I embarked on an experiment lasting 200 days where I would buy nothing new. Excluding groceries, medicine and basic toiletries, I would borrow and buy secondhand, or simply go without.

Like many of us making a steady income, I'd never been very disciplined when it came to my purchases. If I could afford it-and even when I couldn't-I often just thought "why not?" Could I survive 200 days away from the mall?

Part II will be published on April 6, 2018