Get Ready for No Impact Sunday: Consumption

Live a fuller and happier life by buying less stuff: Steps to prepare for Day 1 of No Impact Week on September 18.
Empty Target shopping carts

Photo courtesy of Intangible Arts

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Sunday Consumption

Welcome to Day 1 of your No Impact Experiment!

This first challenge is about doing more with less. People around the world are discovering that they'd rather spend time making social connections than buying new stuff. To learn why this is such an important part of living a lower impact life, watch one of our favorite videos, The Story of Stuff.

The No Impact Experiment is a truncated version of Colin Beavan’s experience trying to live in New York City with no environmental impact. Three months into Colin’s year-long experiment, he stopped consuming new goods (except food). As his wife Michelle discovered, when you kick your shopping habit, you’ll save money, have more time to spend with your family and friends, discover more space in your house, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll discover that less really IS more.

Steps to Prepare:

"99% of the stuff that goes through our production system is trashed within 6 months."
-Annie Leonard,
"The Story of Stuff"
  • Type up a list of all the stuff you “need” to buy this week. Delete the items that you can live without for the week. For the rest of the items, figure out if you can purchase them second-hand, borrow them, or make them yourself.

  • Put an empty re-usable bag in a private place at home. Throughout the day, fill it up with all of your trash, recyclables, and food waste. If you’re out of the house, carry your trash home with you. Make sure that nobody else’s trash gets in there but your own.
  • This will help you get ready for Monday’s challenge on waste reduction. Just for this week, try not to shop for new items. Will you find something better to do with your time and money? Could you use this time to spend with friends instead?
  • What is the hardest part of decreased purchasing? Go to our site and blog about your experience, thoughts, and overall consumption habits. If you’re trying something new or unique, tell us about it.

Follow our ongoing coverage of No Impact Week with YES! Magazine, and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

Find out what other YES! readers are discovering and share your own experiences.

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