January 14th marks a day I will begin to buy as many of my needs for one year from Etsy.
My goal for this experiment is to prove that handmade/eco friendly can be more than a unique nick-knack boutique full of art and strange gifts. In order to do this, I am embarking on a fun, yet arduous task of buying as much as I need from Etsy for one year. Do to the unique philosophy of Etsy, I will be able to buy handmade, vintage, and craft supply items.
Every penny I spend for the next year will be documented here. Etsy obviously can not supply me with all of my needs for a whole year. There are some items that will NEED to be outsourced. These items will include things such as gas and food. I will document every purchase I make including these items. When I outsource, every effort will be made to get it used, recycled, or in some form eco friendly in order to maintain the philosophy of this project.
This experiment will prove that American consumerism can be brought back from our current convenient wasteful way of life, and still be fun. Over the past 2 generations, Americans have become accustom to quickly replacing, old used and broken items. Even I have fallen trap to doing this many times. Often in order to hush my whining children over a lost or broken toy I quickly tell them, "we can just buy another one". However, each time I am teaching my kids to fall prey to the same convenient lifestyle that is slowly tearing our country, land, and economy apart. How are my children supposed to grow up and take finances seriously, when they are taught to just "buy another one."? How are they supposed to care for and tend to the things they already own? This has stemmed from an ever growing global market and the ability to purchase ever cheaper stuff. Although a global market has many great advantages, it has come with many dark often unseen pitfalls. The advantage of Etsy, is the fact that you are buying something that comes with sentimental value from the beginning. The buyer will be more opt to care and tend to the item. Everything is also made by the artist. Therefore there is no middle man. As a buyer you have more opportunity to know where your product is coming from and make a more educated purchase. This means that what you will not feel a need to replace it as often, and it will require less shipping, and packaging.
We are all young enough to be a part of this consumerism, and we have all been trained and actively take part in it our whole lives. I will also be doing this in a large metropolitan city that will bombard and encourage me to buy stuff everyday. Therefor, I am sure you can imagine how hard this will be.
I am hoping that a side effect of this adventure is, I will save money, cherish and care for the things I buy, help the planet, put money in the hands of the maker, and help fund the USPS.