Thursday, July 17, 2008

My First Self Challenge

Yes that's right, a challenge. And even though it says SELF challenge up there in the subject line I would like to think that you, loyal read and like minded person, would also like to challenge yourself to make less of an impact on your earth and do something to better yourself. My first self challenge is one that I came up with while I was cleaning my room last night. I had clothes everywhere and I couldn't help but think about what a pain it was to have so many things to find homes for. And that's when it hit me ... are you ready for it? Drum roll please ...

I am challenging myself to go 365 days without purchasing a new article of clothing.

Now, this may seem daunting to some of you out there, but don't be afraid. I know that when I stop and think about it, 9 times out of 10 when I go shopping I buy things that I know (or think I know) I will wear even if I don't really need it. My favorite jeans are holding up just fine, but that didn't stop me from buying another pair in a different color last week. I wanted them, I don't need them. And unless you're a kid and either out growing or destroying all of your clothes then odds are what you have now is sturdy enough to see you until the end of the year.

If a year seems like a few months too long to go without purchasing another pair of jeans then that's fine. You can shorten it however much you would like. A month, 2 months, 6months ... whatever feels right to you.

And, if you were curious, there are a few exceptions to this challenge.
  1. If I get pregnant and need to get some maternity clothes (doubtful)
  2. If I am asked to stand in someone's wedding and need to buy a bridesmaid dress (also doubtful)
  3. If my apartment should catch fire and all of my closet is burned (very, very doubtful. I hope.)
I think that this challenge will do a few things for me. I think that I will be able to better appreciate what I have, which is something that a lot of Americans could benefit from. I don't need to constantly add to my closet in order to be happy. I think that it will fun to talk about with other people. I can finally really figure out what I don't wear and send it to a charity or make something out of it. Plus, think of all the money I'm going to save!

Did you know that on average Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothes per person per year? 68 pounds! These are textiles that could probably be mended, given to a charity, or recycled into something new. If you are curious to read more about the environmental impact of the clothing industry you can click on the link and it will take you to an article from the Environmental Health Perspectives website which I found very interesting and really helped me become more motivated to stay out of the mall for the next year.

And there you have it. My self challenge. Are you going to do it with me? Post a comment and let me know!

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