1. Sewing kit-just the basics…. Thread (basic colours; black, white, navy, red), needles (go for the wide eyelets, much easier to thread), and a good pair of sharp scissors…No, you cannot purchase form the Dollarstore! A pair of quality scissors that will cut through material or old clothing (think jeans)!
2. Reusable containers- This comes in the form of mugs (what mom does not need coffee to survive!?!?), glass Mason jars, beeswax wrap (eliminates the use of plastic wrap), or reusable material food grade or silicon pouches. Bottom line, avoid the use of plastic as much as possible and invest in quality containers that will sustain the use of heating or freezing.
Social media access- yes! You read that right…. Add yourself to all the local buy and sell groups and even download the Kijiji app, so you are able to find all the necessary items you might need second hand. You can even post “ISO” (in search of) items on these groups, and you would be amazed at what people have hiding in their homes!
Reusable produce bags- Always good to keep a set of reusable produce bags along with your reusable shopping bags to help eliminate your overall consumption of plastic! Keep these in a location that makes sense to you and your shopping. I always keep a compact reusable bag in my purse and a set of canvas bags in the back of each car! Or like Sam, just put your produce in your shopping car “as is” and wash them when you get home (yes, sometimes people give her odd looks at the store, but its worth it!).5.
Essential oils- This is an absolute staple in our house! You can diffuse them for freshness, calmness, cleanliness or just to lift the mood. You can use them to eliminate all fragrances in your lifestyle… Add them to your cleaning products, relieve a headache, boost your metabolism, improve digestion, calm a restless mind, deodorize a space, deter insects, settle an upset stomach, open airways to prevent snoring, naturally kill unwanted bacteria in your body or on surfaces, disinfect a wound, relax tired muscles, reduce sunspots on skin and the list goes on!
Library membership- If you don’t already have one, sign up! Lots of great free activities for adults and children. This is also a great habit to get into as a family. Plan to visit every Sunday for book exchange of story time. Moms and dads can also take out DVDS for the kids or books on CDs for the parents (since we don’t have much time to read!). Often times libraries also have free children areas with toys/books/puzzles, stop by!
Good quality drying rack- Not only are you reducing your overall carbon emissions by reducing your ‘dryer’ times, but you also help to prolong the life of your clothing by hanging to dry rather than exposing the materials to harsh heat. If you can put up a line in your backyard, even better, but find something that expands to hold more clothes and give each piece enough ‘breathing room’ to dry!
Second hand/ Consignment store locations: Google these, find out which ones suit your style, there are funky ones in Toronto, Once Upon a child in multiple cities for babies and children, play it again sports, Value Village, Treasures and Trends, Goodies, Zoey’s consignment, Amity, Style Encore, and Platos Closet… This is becoming uber popular, so find these stores/locations and times to shop! You can also sell items to some of these locations for cash 😊. Ottawa St, in Hamilton is a popular spot for furniture and great second hand goodies as well.
TELL PEOPLE- Share your mission and goals. I can’t tell you how much hand me downs or items people where going to get rid of/ throw out that I/we were in need of and re-purposed for our own homes- clothes, pictures, frames, furniture… Also, sharing what you are going through encourages others to be more open and conscious.
An open mind! If the challenge doesn’t make you uncomfortable, it’s not worth the work you put into it and not worth the gain! A challenge like this might seem unrealistic or unattainable, but think about it like the best diet you will ever put yourself on! This lifestyle change will allow you to really analyze what you value you in your life for you and your family. You will start to really question what is important and the absolute “needs” in your life. Be prepared…. You WILL save money…and who doesn’t want that?! You will curb your spending habits on all accounts and really take charge of how you WANT to spend it.