Just say “NO” to crap!

I’m launching an anti-crap campaign. I want you to say “NO” to buying crap. I can’t think of a better way to improve one’s wealth, health, and self than to kick the crap habit. Like any drug, crap has a cost. Crap hits your wallet, abuses the environment, and needles your health both mentally and physically. The sources of crap are vast and deep. But the most insidious forms of crap are financial crap, food crap, and consumer crap.

Financial crap encompasses all those terrible investment products which make dealers big money and bleed investors dry. Investments like mutual funds with high MERs, principle protected notes (PPNs), segregated funds, and whole life insurance.

Food crap is all that packaged processed product displayed prominently in grocery store aisles, vending machines, and the freezer section. It seems the food scientists and product marketers have hijacked our health and sold us on packaged portions of phony foods.

Consumer crap can been seen on any suburban street bursting out of homes and spewing across yards. Consumer crap includes the gadgets, toys, and pretty plastic things filling our land fills and cluttering our homes.

stop_buying_crap.jpg

I want you to get high on life, not crap. Here are five reasons to kick back at crap.

1. Crap is “whack”:

Most of the stuff out there is crap. Go to any store, turn on any television, or surf any web page and chances are you will be whacked in the face with crap. Crap permeates and seethes into every market imaginable. I see consumer crap in shopping malls, I smell food crap in grocery stores, and I hear financial bull crap on business television. Learn to smack the crap before getting whacked.

2. Crap rots your brain:

This is your brain. This is your brain on crap. Marketing machines are mavericks at getting your brain hooked on crap. They know how to appeal to your senses, your emotions, your desires, and your bank account. They make crap sound important, needed, and affordable. Musical marketing messages get under you skin and into your veins by mapping your brain to buy crap. Marketers needle their way into your wallet by launching crap, unveiling crap, and convincing you to upgrade crap. The hit is quick, pleasurable, and intoxicating.

3. Crap kills:

Crap kills our environment and rots in our landfills. Look everywhere and you see the causalities of crap corroding our landscape. Crap food kills people by rotting our arteries and poisoning our blood. Crap food fails to nourish and causes disease and obesity.

4. Crap is addictive:

Ever notice why you buy crap? Crap is bought to perhaps help feel emotionally better one day, fill a short-term desire, or as an unplanned splurge. You get a crap fix, the rush heightens, and then you need another hit to bring the warm feelings back. For some reason we hoard our crap until we’ve stuffed our bodies and homes full of cluttered mess. Perhaps this crap collecting is a throw back from our hunter and gather days when we needed to store and stash our stuff for times of scarcity. Perhaps crap collection is something we’re hard-wired to do and we don’t have a sense of being stuffed.

5. Crap is disposable:

Something weird happened to the value of stuff from my grandparents era to today. Back then, stuff was honored, maintained, shared, and passed down from generation to generation. My grandparent’s stuff lasted and was expected to be useful year after year. Today, stuff doesn’t endure the test of time. It becomes obsolete, discontinued, deprecated, and abandoned. We garbage and consume crap quickly and fiercely. Crap is a disposable and insatiable addiction.

garbage_crap.gif

Just say “NO” to crap!

Just say “NO” to buying crap. Say no to the shopping stupor, the toxic food cravings, and the promise of financial bliss. Stop chasing the crap dragon. It’s possible to kick the crap habit by investing in quality products and whole foods. We vote with our dollars. The more we vote for quality and the less we vote for crap the better our health, our wealth, and our self.

Your two cents:

  1. Dan March 20th, 2008

    Crap is whack. You are punny. :)

  2. Nate March 20th, 2008

    Wow…so true. the one that i found most interesting was “crap is disposable”…that the concept and quality of “stuff” changed over time.
    I’m with you. I’m saying “NO” to crap!

  3. krystalatwork March 20th, 2008

    Awesome post. Sure gives you something to think about it!

  4. Chickadee March 21st, 2008

    Upgrading the crap: this is such a curse, isn’t it! Just when you find a *good* item, they discontinue making it, and the ‘newer, shinier’ model is inferior or incompatible with what you already have. Electronic crap is an endless cycle of upgrading. Arrgh.

    I’ve noticed that even companies which used to make durable furniture, appliances, etc. seem to be trading on their good reputations to sell cheapened versions, some even designed to be non-repairable! I find it ironic that I can buy very sturdy older furniture for a few dollars at the Habitat Re-store, while the newer mass-market furniture (mostly veneered particleboard) costs a lot. Style and fashion trends seem to take precedence over quality. Television is probably influencing this trend… superficiality is everywhere. And speaking of TV’s, just imagine how many old ones will hit the landfills when the signals switch to all digital.

  5. Cheap Canuck March 24th, 2008

    Well said. Separating the crap from the things that hold true value to us is probably the greatest step we can take toward both financial freedom and personal happiness.

  6. Alexia March 29th, 2008

    Yes! Preach on! I’ve been trying to say the same thing about crap lately to my family and coworkers but they just look at me like i’m nutty.

    I love your blog. Your food ideas are wonderful, that’s the way I’ve been trying to eat for the past year. It requires a lot of forethought, but really that’s so much better than shoveling crap into our bodies mindlessly. Keep on bloggin!

  7. Kyle Paterson April 3rd, 2008

    Chickadee – I think simple economics explains why producers are switching for durability to disposable product production. Supply and Demand. Consumers are switching their preference from durable goods (when it was tougher to make a buck) to ‘up with the jones’ quantity and flair. These quality products stay on the store shelves while the people head to Walmart and Target to get their crapola cheap.

    It is said to be successful you either have a product that can’t be copied or a market that has very difficult entry restrictions. Barring that you better be the low-cost producer because it is price that wins our hearts today.

    Another factor that plays in here is our utility (satisfaction). I think there has been a continual shift in this area over the last little while as people gain less and less satisfaction from purchases. I would assume girls loved getting that next pair of shiek shoes but now all they think about after they buy the one pair is that they should have got the pair on the shelve at payless right beside it.

    You should search for local auctions in your neighbourhoods and surrounding areas. That is where you get top quality for rock bottom prices!!!

  8. Mr. Stupid April 4th, 2008

    Nice post. I leave my crap at work (http://stupidmoneyhacks.com/?p=4).

    Do you have a picture of what my brain on crap would look like?

  9. Simple Mom April 10th, 2008

    Found you via Skelliewag. Love, love, love this post!

  10. fox April 10th, 2008

    Simple Mom: HUGS! Thank you! I always wanted to write this post, but finally felt empowered when Skellie challenged her readers to write a Trump Card Post. Writing this post took forever. I drove my “better half” nuts. I drove myself nuts. I am beyond thrilled she included me in her list, 10 Bloggers Share Their Best Post Ever.

  11. fox April 10th, 2008

    Mr. Stupid: I don’t have a specific picture of your “brain on crap”, although I am certain you’ve experienced hundreds and thousands of marketing messages in your life.

    When I wrote about marketing wiring and hooking our brains on crap I was alluding to the use of marketing Mind Share. One can see blatant “Mind Share” in action in children who can identify product marketing slogans, logos, and mascots with ease. Makes me cry, actually.

  12. fathersez April 11th, 2008

    Looks like you have taken no prisoners.

    After this, if anyone buys crap, they do so at their own risk.

    Great post.

  13. anon due to content- sorry! July 8th, 2008

    I work for a recycling company that also runs the local garbage dump/transfer station… I am totally amazed at all the perfectly good still usable quality stuff that comes in there! My problem is trying not to take home the ‘quality stuff’ I find there. But free-to-me (as an employee) is a very good price :)

    My shelves, tables, chairs, landscaping timbers, containers for garden pots, dresser drawers, firewood, fencing, hutch, teapot, cast iron fry pans, windows, trim for the construction, etc…. have all come ‘free’ from there. I just can’t believe it! Also, all the cedar decking, post and beams, plywood, siding, and even roofing materials for my patio deck and my wood shed have all come from there – free again! Unbelievable!

  14. Kerry July 19th, 2008

    @anon AMAZING! I think working at a recycling company is the ultimate “money hack” in that everything is FREE! I truly don’t understand why people throw away perfectly good items. I think our consumption-based society has lost the plot…we’re led to believe (by the marketing mavericks) if something is not the latest model, then it’s worthless. Kudos to you for saving big bucks and finding forgotten treasure. I think a blog showcasing your daily finds would be mind blowing.

  15. anon this time only and again for the reply July 20th, 2008

    I think a blog about my daily finds would get me fired :) Or get somebody aggravated that I ‘get things for free’… you know how it goes. But it is mind boggling what comes in there.

    This week I had on my ‘want list’ some large wooden planter boxes, two green plastic totes for the garden as I was out of raised beds, and I’d been looking for wheels for a planter for in the house this winter -salad greens. I priced the plastic totes at a local store, they were $5.99 on sale, but didn’t look too sturdy – the ones with handles, and only bright orange which I didn’t want. My “want list” means only that I want them, not that I can afford them on my limited budget, nor that I will be buying them – just that they’d be useful to have, but not a necessity.

    Yesterday I brought home a cedar wooden planter 18×18 for the front steps, and a 3×3 wooden box for a yard planter – winter squash and kales. Then I found not two, but seven!!! green plastic round totes with handles, and the drainage holes already drilled in the bottom of them! Score! Then in the wood pile, an old crib with plug-in wheels on the 4 posts! Voila! My shopping done – cost Zero! As a bonus, a box with about 20 rolls of good wrapping paper, a stoneware outside thermometer, and a fishing gaff for a friend. Excellent company benefits, wouldn’t you say! haha! Oh, and family working at a local garden nursery called saying that the FREE old veggies starts were out – did I want any – of course I did… now I can fill those extra totes I found :) Providence! I am thankful!

  16. Lucy August 24th, 2008

    Hey Fox!
    I just found your blog the other day and I just love it. Your posts are fantastic. In relation to this post, have you seen the video called The Story of Stuff? I think you’ll like it, it’s all about what you’re talking about here. It’s at http://www.storyofstuff.com.

  17. Dawn Bowles-DreamBank October 8th, 2008

    Fox. I know this was awhile back but I have to comment because I absolutely agree x 10000. NO! NO! NO! ( to crap!). We just don’t need all this stuff. Back to a few quality things rather than lots of badly made stuff_Aahh, so much simpler and better for everyone–wouldn’t that be nice? I’m being a bit cheeky because we started a website all about not giving lots of “stuff” for gifts, etc. http://www.dreambank.org. What we hope will be the new model for gift giving. Our motto is “Get Dreams. Not Stuff”. We hope it catches on… Thanks for the great post.
    Dawn

  18. Fabulously Broke January 2nd, 2009

    It’s my thing for this year. Less Crap. More money saved.

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver…

  19. Jules January 5th, 2009

    Awesome article – insightful, funny, and spot on. Happy 2009.

  20. FrugalNYC January 15th, 2009

    I totally agree. We are surrounded by so much “crap” all the time. Most things people own are nothing but unused junk. Just think about the stuff you own and how much you actually use most of them. Think 80/20 rule. Its probably good to purge and unclutter. Better for the mind.

    Thanks for a great article.

  21. MoneyEnergy March 4th, 2009

    I agree, great post. I like that quote: “stop chasing the crap dragon!” I’m somewhat guilty in this area since as a graduate student I buy a lot of books for research, most of which I keep, but I see those as professional expenses. Other than that I buy the basic furnishing I need for my apartment, but I’m not very attached to them. I wish I could say that all I really need are two suitcases and I’m ready to move my life somewhere else – but I’m not there yet.

    Here’s what I wrote about my own goals in that regard. I call it maximising cashflow consciousness and creating life leverage:

    http://tinyurl.com/ddgmp3

  22. Luis Sierra August 22nd, 2009

    I’ve been trying to say this to my wife. It’s causing huge problems for me because of this whole economy ordeal. I lost my job, she maintained hers. So she just keeps buying crap like it’s going out of style and any and all money that I earn from my part-time job is spent on bills and necessities.

    Just in the last week she has purchased five DVD’s! A few more knick-knacky items, and other useless stuff.

  23. Sarah September 25th, 2009

    I was just talking with my husband and my mom over the last few days about how much things have changed since say, 100 yrs ago. Look at the disposable nature of our society — even jobs don’t last like they used to. And the pharmaceutical industry, and the current health care situation — ugh, so many things taken over by the trend of disposability. In the 60s they had paper dresses and such. My mom was saying that around the 50s/60s it was such a new trend to have cheaper stuff, and tv dinners, and then credit cards so you could buy stuff that doesn’t even last until it’s paid off. From asking different people it looks like drugs really hit it big during/after WWII with penicillan, then decades later with birth control, prozac . . . all can be life-savers when needed, but we’ve gotten to the point that all the artificial stuff we surrounded ourselves with more and more in the last 50-60 yrs is making us sicker and sicker. We go to one extreme, then the other extreme as a backlash. I just hope that this trend, as a pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other finally comes to rest in the area of moderation–we will, too. There are few things that, even in moderation, can’t be tolerated or lived with successfully. For example, though I suspect there exists those for whom this is not true, but most people would have trouble doing a moderate about of cocaine. Actually, they’ve shown with food addiction (and I suspect this may be the case with impulse buying and other challenges facing so many people today) — in some people, carb loading (binging eating kind, not the pre marathon kind..) causes the release of a substance very similar in structure, and even more similar in effect, to morphine. They reported that some people even experience withdrawal type symptoms when they stop binging. And that for these people, eating actually stops pain (emotional or physical). They said it felt the same as if rec’ing a shot of morphine in an IV — that powerful. (search Dr. Amen clinic for more about that finding). That’s not too far fetched for me to believe. My head hurts when I think of all the ways we are undermining ourselves and each other-some by big companies after much research and others by ideals adopted and acted upon by large groups of people whether they see the bigger picture or not. Look at fast food combo’s — they present you with sugar, caffeine, salt and fat (of course, you can lower the amt’s or just drink water, etc–or avoid altogether ideally)–those are all substances known to cause cravings for more of the same or cross cravings. I heard recently that the single most detrimental substance causing health to go down and costs to go up is salt. There is so much salt added to prepared foods that people don’t even realize how much they are taking in. Cutting salt from most foods and minimizing when called for reveals a whole new world of taste and processed food becomes almost unbearable b/c they use so much. There was a time when using a lot of salt was called for–before refrigeration–to keep meats and such from going bad as quickly, but we don’t have that issue now. I also think we’re on the beginning cusp of seeing all the ill results of this behavior over the last half century. I am so excited about the possibilities of what we could do with the technology and other advances we’re making at an always faster rate-the more technology we have, the faster we have more technology. I don’t think that the disposable aspect is inherent in this trend — it’s just what makes a profit faster. Oh I could go on and on.. (I think I already did! hahaha) I still believe that we are more good that greedy, more aspiring than lazy, we are just in a time where we each have to reach that point w/o it being ingrained in our social fabric currently. In that sense, it’s more meaningful when it does happen and I guess I think as it happens to more and more of us there will eventually be a widefelt shift in our natures. Now, whether we reach that point by self discovery or we push our environment to the point that the shift is forced upon us, I don’t know. And there always has been and maybe always will be flawed people in the position to make flawed decisions/actions that in a flawed climate cause astronomical rates of flawedness (like the whole banking and housing industry–an industry that started with some greed and then more, and at some point the people now involved had never experienced a way to operate other than greed and unfortunately were never motivated to discover or change that in themselves until the whole industry imploded). I just see that potential energy building up in so many areas and hope they don’t all fall at the same time. If they do, I still have faith in mankind. That despite ourselves we’ll come around. It’ll be a show anyway. These are years that will become paragraphs, maybe even whole chapters in the history lessons 50-100 or more years from now.

  24. marci September 26th, 2009

    Had an interesting conversation with my boyfriend’s grandson, 12, as we all sat around the campfire last night….

    He wished he could be growing up ‘back then’ in Grandpa’s growing up time, when times were different and kids could have fun without getting into trouble, and the drugs were not all around, and the peer pressure was not as bad – and this is all in a very rural very small town.

    I said but you’d miss your gameboys, and tv channels (we only had one channel), and your DS, and cell phones, and computers, etc…. and HE SAID, but if I hadn’t grown up with them all I would never be missing them and I could be having good clean fun on my bike, fishing and boating in a paddle canoe on the river, and just doing ‘neat’ things like you and grandpa do …. things that don’t even cost money :)

    It was soooo interesting to see how our frugal no money spent lifestyle has worn off on the boy! He lived with us all summer and moved back to the ‘big city’ when school started…so I think he is missing all our summer activities that he complained were “boring” at the time! And I KNOW he misses our garden!

    Funny how that happens!

  25. catzilla October 1st, 2009

    Well, I’ll start living like this.
    The phone I wanted to shell out $400 for?
    Screw that.

  26. Alli November 19th, 2009

    25 years and counting: a rosewood comb, tweezer, and magnifying mirror. Oh, and hair cutting scissors. I might have found the best finger nail clippers to add to my kit. Flat toe nail clippers make it complete. Good for 25 more.

  27. Hate Shopping March 25th, 2010

    In 1960, cultural critic Vance Packard published a book called the Waste Makers. I bought it used a couple of years ago and found it fascinating. He expanded on the idea of planned obsolescence which had actually been introduced at least as far back as 1932 in Bernard London’s pamphlet Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. Packard’s book was promoted as an exposé of “the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals.
    He divided planned obsolescence into two sub categories: obsolescence of function and obsolescence of desireability. “Obsolescence of desirability”, also called “psychological obsolescence”, referred to marketers’ attempts to wear out a product in the owner’s mind. The products we bought did not become disfunctional but ‘new and improved’ models were introduced every year and marketing convinced us that the new models were more ‘desirable and that we ‘needed’ an upgrade. We got rid of perfectly good furniture, appliances, cars, etc. We bought things becaues marketing convinced us of a ‘need’ we didn’t even know we had. It was great for the economy, creating jobs, etc.
    This book ties in perfectly with Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff, which capsulizes the development of our planned obsolescence leading to our consumer society. But what really hits us viscerally in Annie’s story, are the results of the spectacular success of p.o. and the marketing that convinced us it was a ‘good thing’. Only now we have an awareness that we didn’t have 50 years ago and we can see how one life- and world-changing decision was actually one of the worst things to happen to our planet and to our own sense of well-being.
    We’ve spent many years not thinking about why we shop and why we buy the things we do. Much of it is in fact junk or ‘crap’ and is just cluttering up our homes, our lives and the planet. But consumerism is so entrenched in our psyches, that it’s considered an acceptable and beneficial way of life.
    But it’s just another bad habit, albeit a huge one, and bad habits can be changed. All it requires – usually – is to become aware as much as possible of the harm this habit has caused – is still causing – and to start questioning what we are doing. Let us not shop mindlessly any more. Let us not buy ‘crap’ any more, for in the long run, it adds no value to our life and actually detracts from it.

  28. crickett April 12th, 2010

    so simple and so true, wanna pay less tax? buy less stuff…some tips from our home.. washing only with baking soda, no fabric softeners or dryer sheets either, in the shower using lemon water only SERIOUSLY! washing hair with lemon water takes the grease out and it leaves a lovely lemony smell, using 100% sweet almond oil instead of lotions, our family decided 5 years ago that we will wear our clothes and shoes until they fall off in shreds from usage, and if a new garment is bought then an old one has to be given up, say no to clutter, say no to excess crap!

  29. Mathias July 3rd, 2010

    I agree we should get rid of the crap. My only addiction right now is video games. I like to collect them. I don’t usually like buying new hardware though. I only buy it out of necessity to play the games. I some times wish I could go the full 100% non-crap, but right now I’m trying to stay away from most of it. Just hard to give up the video games.

  30. florian bogdan July 4th, 2010

    this is the best thing i have read in many years.. no one is out there to teach you about ‘crap’ therefore we have to figure all the things you’ve mentioned, by ourselves. i think the state in which the world is today is because of ‘crap’ and our everyday need for it.

    i admire you.

  31. Rob August 8th, 2010

    Ahhh.. crap.

    I had one of those epiphany moments about four months ago as I realized I’d just watched a TV program I didn’t like, because I was tired, and couldn’t remember anything of what I’d watched. Next day the cable tv was turned off, and within a couple of weeks the TV was gone via craigslist. I dug into some “voluntary simplicity” books & websites and have been systematically culling knickknacks, old books, old crap and random junk I was “saving”. The house is starting to look a little bare, but I can also find the things that I actually use regularly, and it’s easier to keep clean! Life is a lot easier when you’re not looking after all your crap!

  32. Some_Guy January 9th, 2011

    Holy crap, the comments section is HUGE!

    but anyways, yeah, this article really hit home for me because I am proud to have caught on to this addiction to crap in today’s ‘society’ early on. I haven’t even left home yet and I’m still in school (granted it’s college, but still…) and I have realized everything you have said here. Can’t do much about the food or diet around the house because I don’t do the groceries OR the cooking, but in all the other areas, I excel :) I don’t NEED to buy crap to fill that void, I have learned to be happy with what I already have. in fact, I rarely buy ANYthing. when I do, it’s a bag of chips, or something small, but I have it hammered in my head that every dollar I have is to go to school so I feel super guilty if I spend more than a couple dollars on something unrelated to school. And of course I was one of those suckers that got stuck with a potentially very expensive hobby: Computers. I make the occasional upgrade here and there, but that’s about it. still running on the first computer I ever built. would love to have the expendable money to just build them left and right, but a single, powerful CPU costs hundreds of dollars (like 3-hundreds or dollars, eek!), and that’s just ONE piece of a complex puzzle!

    anyways, my point is, just learn to be happy with and focus on what you already have rather than what you don’t, because you never have nothing! if you can read that sentence, you have something already. the obvious answer is a computer or at least computer access, but I’m thinking even simpler. the ability to READ! or even further, just having vision in general is huge. feeling sorry for yourself, or buying tons of ‘crap’ to make yourself feel better is just being greedy! you already have the world at your fingertips. learn a real skill like survival to cover those ‘high priority costs’ like food, rent (a.k.a. shelter), etc, and you can do away with money completely! (or just have more for fun spending at no risk because even if you went bankrupt, you know how to live without money anyways :P) that’s a bit extreme, but it’s definitely significant (even on a smaller scale, where it just supplements your budget is a big help) and on my to do list at some point in my life :D

  33. Some_Guy January 9th, 2011

    whoops, to what I was saying about what you do and will always have your whole life, I mentioned the ability to read and having vision in general. I was also going to make it even bigger picture/broader. you never have nothing, because you are alive! you can breath, walk/run, appreciate beauty with your eyes, ears, touch, and taste, communicate with others, the list just goes on and no one ever stops to think… ‘oh my god, just the fact that I can (insert activity here) is a miracle in and of itself!’ the billions of years of structured change and precise movement of billions of chemical interactions and everything else lining up just right so that you can sit on your ass, form a thought, create the electrical impulses to move the right chemically advanced muscles and push the air out of your lungs and through your vocal chords, another anomaly of a miracle, just to complain that life sucks seems kinda… ungrateful now, doesn’t it?

  34. Frank April 10th, 2011

    Everything you say is patently obvious and has been for decades. Where it gets sticky is when you have children – then you have to integrate more (whether you want to or not) into the world of gluttony and plastic junk from China. Have a couple of kids, you’ll see what I mean. Violin lessons, hockey, hockey equipment, swimming, lacrosse, baseball, dance, birthday parties with mandatory gift giving, which usually amounts to spending money on total plastic garbage from China that ends up in a landfill by the end of the week. Complete social isolation is the result of not participating in this luney kid-based rat race.

    It would be easy to live as you describe although somebody would have to adopt my children first.

  35. Rob September 28th, 2011

    Very true Frank, the kids have alot to do with it, and our society of convenience i call it. Your ‘social isolation’ is right on the mark too.

  36. SKA November 27th, 2011

    Squawkfox–i just read your ideas for gifts from the dollar store and thought “But it’s all crap!!!” (Did you have kids since you wrote that post?) I guess I’m leaning toward the food in a jar ideas because they are clutter-free and affordable. My challenge is personalizing them so they aren’t generic gifts–same for the newspaper boy as for the cubicle mate- that offend in their “generic-ness”. Thanks for both posts.

  37. yna6 December 8th, 2011

    Any electronic device….lol…yep! Do we “need” cellphones? nope…lived for generations without them. Do we “need” 3-4 TV’s in the house? Nope. BUT I CAN AFFORD THEM….the battlecry of the elitist. Who, no doubt, is “green” and makes sure everyone around them knows it…

    The “artificial economy” created by ” fashion and style” is what drives the consumer to spend. The “newer” phone. This years model (of whatever), these new clothes, this style of furniture, these new home decor ideas…doesn’t matter….if it involves annual or seasonal “style”, it is CRAP.

    Be yourself…follow your own idea…wear it till it is worn out, use it till it is no longer useful, repair it or get it repaired,if economically sound to do so.
    Otherwise…YOU have fallen into the consumerism world of crapology!

  38. Meredith January 24th, 2012

    This is a reply to SKA’s message from November 27 – a little late in the game, but I thought I’d let you know that I made gifts-in-a-jar presents for my husband’s family for Christmas, and they were a BIG hit!

    I try to live by the no-crap rule, and my husband is mostly on board, so “presents” for us usually equates to going to the theatre, or purchasing items we really need anyway, but his mother, sisters, and brother-in-law care more about giving and receiving materials gifts (mostly because they all love to shop), so I have been gradually trying to sneak in “my” type of gift – experiences, donations, and re-gifts – without offending or causing a fuss. I’m always worried about how they’ll be received when compared to the “store-bought” stuff everyone else is opening, but so far they have all been a success – and the gifts-in-a-jar were probably the most popular.

    I don’t think they would be seen as generic – I gave all the boys Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar (who doesn’t love cookies??), and all the girls got Spa in a Jar (I bought bath oil balls, shower gel, little candles, and little chocolates at the dollar store, and layered them on top of lavender-scented epsom salts in the jar). Everyone thought they were great, and appreciated the effort I’d put into them.

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