I have decided to challenge myself and make October a consumption free month – inspired by the Voluntary Simplicity movement.
With consumption free I mean only buying what is absolutely necessary such as food and hygiene products (although I believe I have enough of the latter) and bus trips, but no consumer goods or materials for producing things (such as fabric for crafting etc) during the whole month of October.
Why consumption free?
Partially I want to challenge myself to see how it feels when I actively cut down on consumption. The other reason is that I have reflected upon my way of living lately and seen that I have been buying a lot rather than doing all I can on my own.
A few years ago I made some choices that forced me to leave several of my possessions behind in Portugal. After that I lived quite ascetic for a while in a small rented room. Then I felt it was time to upgrade to a “normal” life again – which of course meant that I had to buy some things again when moving to a bigger place. Furniture and other items needed to be replaced.
A lot of it was bought second hand, which is the way I like it. My taste tends to lean towards the rustic and old. But I also saw that I was spending a lot of time and energy on trying to find things. I have now reached a point where I want to use this energy and focus to produce things of my own instead and in the beginning I want to add the restriction of only using materials I already have.
More creativity through restriction
One thing that I didn’t leave behind when I moved to Germany was my crafting materials. Fabrics, ribbons, leather pieces and tools that I want to turn into new items. A lot of it has been lying in drawers for over 10 years. It’s definitely time to do something with them.
Therefore I’ve decided that instead of buying things in October I will spend my time and energy on turning old materials into something new – be it for myself or to sell/give away as gifts. Let’s see what I come up with. The restriction of only using materials already in my possession will force me to be more creative in my designs.
Another reason behind this experiment is the environmental aspect. We (in the western world) consume far too much and often due to boredom or the feeling that we need to have a certain number of things or a certain standard without questioning it. This will give me the chance to reflect a bit more on what I actually need and want. It also means no more staring at eBay, Amazon or other online shops for a month. I spend enough time at the computer doing my work.
Instead of dreaming I will be doing – because my dreams mainly circulate around doing things of my own anyway.
- Hotel stay on the 17th of October in connection to the Shrine of Insanabilis gig in Helvete/Oberhausen (actually paid in September).
- Visit to the Rome 312 exhibition in Pforzheim on the 24th (planned this before I decided to take on this project).
I’ll let you know at the end of the month how it went.
Quick update: Check out today’s post on Yourfreelancecareer.com which touches very well on a similar topic: “The tools don’t make the artist” – preciesly what I want to prove with this experiment.