You are hereBlogs / WcP.Story.Teller's blog / "Buy Nothing Year" 2 Roommates Saved $55,000 and free time on leisure rather than chaining self to cliche: work hard, burn money

"Buy Nothing Year" 2 Roommates Saved $55,000 and free time on leisure rather than chaining self to cliche: work hard, burn money


By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 09 October 2014

(quote)

Forbes: The Buy Nothing Year: How Two Roommates Saved More Than $55,000
A little over a year ago, Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz, a 31-year-old accountant in Calgary, began analyzing his monthly spending. What he saw, he says, was eye-opening: “I was spending so much every month, no matter how much I made it never seemed like I was getting ahead. It was typical lifestyle creep.”

Around the same time, his good friend Julie Phillips, 29, a communications advisor at the University of Calgary, was about to move into a new apartment when it fell through. “Geoff said, ‘You can move in with me, but I only have a bedroom for you to rent,’” she says. “The rest was packed with his stuff. So I got rid of over 80% of my stuff within three days.” (She was thinking she might move in a year and if so, she’d have to get rid of many of her belongings then.) But then she had a meltdown. “I was like, ‘Oh my god. What did I do?’ And then I was like, ‘Why do I need things anyway?’”

Over their first bottle of wine as roommates, they questioned their need for the objects that had drained their bank accounts, and, on a whim, decided to spend a year not buying anything. The domain name and Twitter handle for the obvious designation, Buy Nothing Year, were available. Within a week, they became a national news sensation. They suddenly realized that with the country watching, they had to follow through.

They spent the first three months (August through October) phasing out all consumer items, such as household objects, electronics and clothes. Then, they cut out all services, including dining out, salon haircuts, and gas and instead began hosting lots of dinner parties — and biking or walking everywhere, even during Calgary’s long, cold winter. (For his 35-minute walk to work, Geoff would don long johns, winter boots, scarf, mittens and a hat. Though he was already fit when the year began, he lost an additional 10 pounds. When he had to go especially far, he took the bus.) They made their own laundry detergent and surface cleaners, but made a concession for store-bought dish soap, since the homemade version left a gross film on their dishes.

They had also saved a lot of money: Geoffrey amassed $42,300 (46,000 CAD) and Julie set aside $13,800 (15,000 CAD). (Julie’s explanation as to why Geoffrey squirreled away so much more: “As much as Geoff saved, I don’t make per year.”) Here’s how they achieved their feat, how the project changed their lives and what habits they’ll retain. Plus, the slide show contains their top tips on having a Buy Nothing Year of your own.

EyeWitnessNews: save money on laundry: The average family does 400 louds of laundry per year. A Consumer Reports study found the six most common money wasters. Those costs add up. You're paying for water, detergent and energy, not counting the washer and dryer. The first money waster in the laundry room is using too much detergent. Detergents are super concentrated now. When you use too much, you're not just wasting detergent, it can trigger your washer to use an extra rinse cycle. "It takes longer to do your laundry and it wastes water, very often you can't even see the lines in the cap," Pat Slaven of Consumer Reports said. "If you mark it yourself, you use exactly the amount you need."

Consumer Reports found that as much as 90% of the energy spent on a wash load is for heating the water. Instead choose the cold-water cycle. Your clothes will come clean, and you probably won't see a difference.

Wash only full loads of laundry. It saves wear and tear on your machine. If you must wash a small load, adjust the load size. And whatever the size of your load, use the highest spin setting your fabrics allow. "This reduces the amount of moisture in your clothes. Then your dryer will have less work to do, and save you energy," Slaven said.

Don't dry your clothes using the timed-dry setting. Choose the "auto-dry" setting on medium and let your dryer's moisture sensor decide when the load is dry. And fabric softener sheets can gum up the sensors in your dryer, making it run longer. Wipe them monthly with rubbing alcohol. Lastly, you won't get the cleanest clothes if you stuff everything in at once. It's more energy efficient to wash and dry similar items together, like just jeans or just T-shirts, so everything will dry evenly. Another thing that many people forget or don't bother to do is to clean out the lint filter on the dryer after every load. It keeps the air circulating and it will take less time to dry your clothes, saving even more money.

BBC: Retrieving good food from trash as prices increase
Food is getting more expensive everywhere in the world. Even in the US, where there is low inflation, food prices have gone up by 2.5% in the last 12 months.

Driven by this and by environmental concerns, increasing numbers of people are becoming freegans - people who eat food they get for free.

In a city like New York, the greatest source of free food is often other people's garbage.

The BBC went dumpster diving with one New York freegan, Janet Kalish, who has been a freegan for almost 10 years.

A Frenchman is making his way from Paris to Warsaw surviving only on a diet of food he's salvaged from waste bins to show Europeans just how much they are throwing away.
Before he left on his 3,000 mile bicycle trip to Warsaw, Frenchman Baptiste Dubanchet thought he had a pretty good idea of how much perfectly good food European supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants threw away.

But the voyage, which is intended to raise awareness about waste, has even been an eye opener for him. "I really didn't think we were wasting as much as we are," he told the The Local. "Even when you know about it, it's still surprising to open a garbage can and find so many potatoes, so much fruit, yogurt, sometimes 500-litre or 1000-litre bins are filled with things that are still good enough to eat."

40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, which amounts to a waste of more than 20 pounds of food per person, every month
* U.S. families throw out about 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy
* Tips included for how to properly store your fresh foods so you actually get the chance to eat them before they spoil
* In addition to making sure your fridge is kept cold enough -- below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius – a vacuum sealer can greatly extend the shelf-life of produce and other perishable food items

That old bunch of carrots or pot of soup that sat for too long in your fridge, then ended up in your trash, doesn't seem like much. But when translated over an entire year, and expanded globally, the problem of food waste transforms into one of epic proportions.
Unfortunately, Americans now waste 50 percent more food than they did in the 1970s, which means the problem is getting worse instead of better...

Americans Waste 20 Pounds of Food, Per Person, Per Month

In a recent report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it's revealed that 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, which amounts to a waste of more than 20 pounds of food per person, every month. This amounts to upwards of $2,275 in annual losses for the average U.S. household of four.2 So this isn't simply a matter of the food itself, but the waste it generates:

* $165 billion that is essentially "thrown out"
* 25 percent of freshwater usage, wasted
* Huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land use, also wasted
* Rotting food in landfills, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions

The NRDC report also estimates: "...food saved by reducing losses by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables."

In all, it's estimated that U.S. families throw out about 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. In the UK, about two-thirds of household food waste is due to food spoiling before it is used, whereas the other one-third is due to cooking and serving too much. This problem isn't only on the consumer level, of course, as significant food waste occurs at every level of the supply chain, including during:

* Production and farming
* Post-harvest, handling and storage
* Processing and packaging
* Retail and restaurant distribution

Is "Cheap" Food Creating Even More Waste?

The average American wastes 10 times more food than the average consumer in Southeast Asia. NRDC suggested this may be because food is relatively inexpensive, and typically widely available, in the U.S., which makes it seem like it has less value. They reported: "Cheap, available food has created behaviors that do not place high value on utilizing what is purchased. As a result, the issue of wasted food is simply not on the radar of many Americans, even those who consider themselves environment- or cost-conscious."

Unfortunately, the "faster, bigger, cheaper" approach to food production that the United States has mastered is unsustainable and contributing to not only excess waste but also the destruction of our planet and your health. Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and a number of other bestsellers, said it best: "Cheap food is an illusion. There is no such thing as cheap food. The real cost of the food is paid somewhere. And if it isn't paid at the cash register, it's charged to the environment or to the public purse in the form of subsidies. And it's charged to your health."

The average American household discards between $500 and $2,000 worth of food a year. But there are clever ways to minimize waste, by storing food carefully or preserving it at its peak to enjoy later, says Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of "Put 'Em Up," a book about preserving food.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy Kevin Jesuino / Forbes and Baptiste Dubanchet / The Local

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed

Twitter

WcP Blog on Twitter

Facebook

WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search



Archive Calendar

April 2020
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930


Random image

LuCxeed Photography: Pianist in Purple

Poll

Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden."
- Author Unknown

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
- Cicero

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Great culture sharing. This is really important to show all over the world and different cultures and nature to whole world." - Anonymous (January 27, 2019)
  • "This is one of the most incredible blogs I've read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!" - Anonymous (May 29, 2018)
  • "I am just happy to know about your website. It's informative and valuable for me. Thanks for sharing interesting info with us. Keep doing best in future." - Kelvin (May 28, 2018)
  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "Undoubtedly enjoyed this blog! You set the subject content with exceptional abilities and a bit on the right track." - Lisa (December 17, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • "Worldculturepictorial.com/blog is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.