Note from Krista: Melissa and I have known each other for years - I love her commitment to her cause - even when it's difficult. Her decision to shop only second hand, local or handmade (which JustOne falls into - whew!) is inspiring. Reading through her responses - I feel motivated to make changes too! In her photo you'll notice Melissa is wearing a JustOne necklace - she made this comment when she sent me the photo: "Picked one where I'm wearing a Just One necklace...wasn't hard to find since I'm almost ALWAYS wearing it." Thanks Melissa for all you do to impact our world! Check out her blog HERE
I am a soon-to-be-no-longer-single Mom to 3 amazing, energetic boys. Being a Mom is my number 1 priority and I have been blessed to be able to spend my days with them while working weekends and evenings as a mobile bridal stylist.
When I get a little ""me time"" I love thrifting, being crafty and letting my creative juices flow freely. What REALLY gets me excited is when I can find a new purpose for an old item- then I feel like I have won the lottery.
A random fact about myself...I've had a MASSIVE crush on Steve Martin for pretty much my entire life and I've seen Father Of The Bride approximately a bajillion times.
JustOne Way to Give Back:
A few years ago I made the decision to buy everything second-hand. Or, as much as I could. Anything I couldn't get used I make sure to buy from a locally-owned shop or I purchase it handmade (not made in a factory somewhere on the other side of the world). I wanted to be able to see the face of the person that I was supporting with my money.
And that's what we do, isn't it? Give our support to people/ corporations when we give them our hard-earned dollars.
This is my way of 'giving back'. To the earth- by reducing waste and consumption, and to my fellow humans- by not purchasing anything made the put anyone's health or well-being at risk in order to make it.
Sometimes my lifestyle choice is difficult. It means never going to a One-Stop-Big-Box-Store. It means having to plan ahead for kijiji pick-ups, and it takes more time when searching for a specific item- but I do love how it brings out my creativity (and also how easy it can be on my wallet).
It was a slow, organic process that led me to live a second-hand lifestyle. I have thrifted my clothing for as long as I can remember- I've always loved wearing more original items that cost less. But even then, it was just about the low cost. I would still buy my $5 shirt from ""Walmart"" (when I say Walmart, I mean any discount supplier: Target, H&M, Joe Fresh...) because the most important thing to me at that time was the money saved.
But then I began to research where that $5 shirt was coming from. The condition in which it was made. The way that the people making my $5 shirt were being treated. I realized that my desire for an inexpensive shirt wasn't worth the health, or standard of life for my neighbours on the other side of the earth. Since I was a young girl I have always been taught to 'love my neighbour"". This is my way, I suppose.
JustOne Thing Learned:
I've learned to ask. Ask if people are getting rid of a certain item that I'm looking for. Ask for help in picking up larger items since kijiji doesn't offer delivery. This has led to a new sense of community that I feel between and my friends, my church and those around me.
I also ask how something has been made and where things come from. I've learned that if a price seems too low to be true- someone was likely worked too hard, for too long, for too little compensation.
I blogged about my Journey To Never New HERE.
I would say watching the documentary Garbage by Andrew Niskar really opened my eyes about how much waste we create with our over-consuption here in North America. I then watched the documentary What Would Jesus Buy? about the crazy over consumption at Christmastime.
The Story of Stuff was also a HUGE eye-opener for me. I encourage everyone to take 20 minutes and watch this brilliant film.
The more I learned the more I hungered to learn. I realized that almost everything in stores was being made by causing someone else to live in poverty. My decision was to buy second-hand. At least then I was recycling and saving items from the landfill.
My recommendation for a must read if you are having any 'Consumption Doubt' is Confessions of an Eco Sinner. It was written by a man who took the time to track down the original sources of the items that we all use on a daily basis. It is a very easy yet extremely informative read.
I absolutely LOVE when someone tells me that because of my blog, they are more conscious about their purchases. That is the point to my blogging. That is something that we can ALL do.
Pay attention to tags. Look at the price and ask yourself if it seems too good to be true (if it does- it probably is). Ask the stores that you support where they get their stock from. Thrift and buy second-hand whenever it's possible. Try consuming less- you'll probably love it.
JustOne More Thing:
I know it seems like the problem of over-consumption and poor manufacturing conditions is too huge to be tackled by Just One Person. But our dollars count. Believe it. Every nickel we spend somewhere sends a message that we agree with that person/corporation's manufacturing choices- please send your message loud and clear.
JustOne Favourite Quote:
"If you think you are too small to make a difference you have never spent the night with a mosquito." - The Dalai Lama."
Know someone who is giving back and making our world a better place? We'd love to share their story and inspire others! Please share THIS LINK with them!