Last year’s new year resolutions

Last year we decided to get rid of something every day; to donate at least 5% of income,  and to avoid Coles and Woolworth as much as possible.

I think we got rid of the equivalent of  something every day, or we will have by the end of the year (big clean up over the next couple of days). It is hard to tell – we get so much stuff through the year and as we have to get rid of one more thing than we get each day, it can be hard to measure. I think we have been fairly successful in reducing how much stuff we get – although we probably gave Jasmine and Alexa more than we could have for Christmas. They say this has been the best year (birthday and Christmas) for presents. Although this was more about what they received than  how much they received, we probably did go a little bit overboard.

We donated just over 5% of our taxable income to Oxfam and if we include other donations (e.g., Transition Newcastle) we would probably be getting towards 5% of our gross income. My father, who earns much less than we do, donated much more than we did. He’s pretty inspiring.

We have done very well avoiding Coles and Woolies, except when we were travelling in the Northern Territory for 3 1/2 weeks. Since we decided to stop shopping there in April or May, excluding our trip, we have probably only bought from them 5 or 6 times (mainly early on). We have been using IGA, the farmers markets, our local shopping strip and a food coop. So much of our shopping is based on habits, and since we have changed our habits, it has become quite easy to avoid them.

Watch out for our 2013 new years resolutions.

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), environmentalist, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace & sustainability.
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