It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.
The Non-Consumer Advocate on Get Rich Slowly
My mornings are perfectly timed these days. The kids’ schools start an hour and 15 minutes apart from one another, which means that our mornings start slowly, with one kid at a time. Seriously, I don’t even wake the 12 year old until the 15 year old has left! For someone else this would be a negative, but I like the one-on-one time with each son. No fighting. No sibling issues. Easy.
This morning brought a nice surprise, which was an article about The Compact on Get Rich Slowly by staff writer Sierra Black. I had given this interview so long ago that I had completely forgotten about it, so at first I was actually kind of confused.
I don’t remember saying all that stuff. It’s sounds like something I would say, but . . . huh?
A nice addition to my otherwise relaxing morning.
Click HERE to read the article.
Bangladesh Fire Reaffirms my Reasoning for Not Buying Crap
There was an article in yesterday’s Oregonian newspaper about a garment factory fire in Bangladesh that killed at least 27 workers. (Most likely much more as there are reports of at least 100 people jumping from the tenth story building to escape the flames.) The factory produces clothing for Gap, JCPenney, H & M and Wal Mart and employs 13,000 people.
“Monir Hossain, a local journalist at the scene, told The Associated Press the blaze broke out on the two upper floors during lunch break. A gate on a stairwell was locked, trapping people inside the factory, which mainly produces T-shirts for international brands, he quoted witnesses as saying.”
The article has a lot of interesting and eye opening information about how Bangladesh’s workers are among the lowest paid in the world, and how there have been a number of recent violent protests concerning the low minimum wage, which is $45 per month. There was also another another deadly garment factory fire in February, which killed 21 people.
I am almost entirely assembling my Christmas gifts from thrift stores, apart from two flatiron hair straighteners, (didn’t want to buy used) and a single made in China/overly packaged/plastic-ey toy that I bought for my six-year-old niece. (I was enticed by a super low Amazon price, combined with my Swagbucks gift cards.) I do have a few gifts left to buy, but think I’ll be able to plug these holes with consumables, experiential gifts and more thrift shop items.
One of the stock gifts for my family every year is a new pair of pajamas. We open them up on Christmas eve, put them on and get to wake up in attractive sleepwear. And yes, I always buy them used. I’m usually able to find new (or look like new) pajamas at Goodwill for around $3 – $7, often with the tags still on.
Right now, Old Navy’s Jingle Jammies were on sale for $8. (Old Navy also manufactures in Bangladesh.) It would have been super cute to buy everyone matching brand new pajamas, (think of the photos!) but I don’t want to support an industry that locks poorly paid workers into unsafe factories.
Would you consider making a one year pledge to buy nothing new for a year? I’ve been doing The Compact since January of 2007, and will continue on in 2011.
Need Extra Christmas Money?
Are all the extra expenses of the holiday season making you wish for a few extra dollars? No problemo, fellow non-consumers because now is an excellent time to take your unwanted belongings and turn them into money and store credit. And it’s e-a-s-y!
- Take books you can bear to part with (including kid ones) to used book stores.
- List large or valuable items on Craigslist. (I recently sold Robeez booties for $8 and an artificial Xmas tree for $15)
- Glean your closet for unused clothing, coats, shoes and winterwear and take them to consignment shops. Don’t forget that kid consignment stores will also take books, furniture and toys. (I recently sold some ill fitting Danskos for $20)
- Bring cool household items to antique stores or second hand (for-profit) shops.
- Ebay! (I just sold a $5 Goodwill doll for $117.)
Use your creativity. Look around your house and turn that clutter into cash. It’s super addictive.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”