Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

By Judith Levine

Stunned via the trade in every little thing from puppy cloning to patriotism, apprehensive by means of the downward spiral of her funds and that of the trash-strewn earth, Judith Levine enlists her associate, Paul, in an intensive test: to forgo all however the most important purchases for a complete 12 months.

with no purchaser items and studies, Judith and Paul pursue their careers, nurture relationships, and check out to maintain their sanity, their identities, and their humorousness intact. monitoring their growth -- and inevitable lapses -- Levine contemplates want and hope, shortage and safety, consumerism and citizenship. She asks the large Questions: Can the economic system live on with no purchasing? Are Q-tips invaluable?

Not deciding to buy It is the confession of a lady any reader can establish with: a person who cannot dwell with out French roast espresso or SmartWool socks yet who has had it as much as right here with overconsumption and its results on the planet and everybody who dwells there.

For the humor and intelligence of its insights, the refreshment of its skepticism, and the surprises of its conclusions, Not deciding to buy It is certain to be on anyone's checklist of requirements.

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At the subsequent leg of the flight, from Denver to Bozeman, we're seated in entrance of a mom and son who're discussing the carrying existence. First, fishing. “You pay the advisor seventy greenbacks for the Gallatin, yet it’s absolutely worthy it. He completely is familiar with the river. ” “I imagine I paid $85. ” “Still completely worthy it. ” “Totally. ” … “Corky has the Patagonia waders, correct? ” “No, i feel he received the Simms. ” (These rate $400 a couple. ) “I just like the Simms, however the Patagonia healthy me greater. ” “Simms has a brand new wintry weather style which are hot yet gentle.

Paul tells her he doesn’t have a automobile. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she replies, as though he’d advised her he doesn’t have a mom. He walks to the fuel station round the corner, which might be reached both through treading via a gravel-mulched shrub backyard or hiking over an 18-inch lessen. He chooses the latter, yet to no avail: noNew York occasions. He attempts one other comfort shop, yet inconveniently, there's not anyone round, so he trespasses over one other gravel-landscaped embankment, hazards his lifestyles crossing the 4 lanes of North 7th road, and hikes the paved wilderness of Wal-Mart’s car parking zone.

The travelers are excited. “Mommy, Mommy, glance! ” cries a small boy. “They’re arresting that woman! ” A German lady beside me is shouting on the law enforcement officials: “Heil King George! Heil! take into accout, they elected Hitler, too! ” one of many Dopplebillies is crying. Mingling with the police as though they have been one other urban squad, the Starbucks protection guards are grabbing protesters and ordering them clear of the nook: “Move off this sidewalk. you'll no longer stay in this sidewalk! ” this can be a sidewalk in the course of occasions sq. at the day after Thanksgiving.

Um, may perhaps I borrow a bit blue wax, quite a few swipes? ” I ask, assuming the id of someone who has arrived at a ski heart with out ski wax and with out cash. Nick smiles. “Borrow it? you could have it. ” he's taking a ski, bites the plastic cap off a stick of wax, and begins making use of it himself. As I go with the flow down the lengthy hill initially of Ruthie’s Run, I become aware of that whereas envy may possibly mobilize customer wish, it’s now not the issues other folks have that one unavoidably envies. I suggest, what number of people actuallylike Rolex watches?

Magda teaches English to Czech businesspeople; she tosses out American slang enunciated with British precision. either effervesce with an American-style friendliness, extra Peoria than Prague. Milosz had advised me that his female friend is a “clean freak. ” That used to be a real understatement. She is a devotee, worshipping on the shrine to Procter & Gamble that she has made from my house. I ask Ann, whose political paintings takes her often to japanese Europe, how a long way consumerism has gotten within the Czech Republic because the cave in of the Soviet Union.

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