Back to Basics: First it was goodbye to the supermarket, now it's goodbye to consumerism

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Our columnist Lydia Harvey and her family stepped away from the supermarket. Now they're upping the challenge and opting out of consumerism full stop.

Source: istock.com

One thing we've learned from opting out of the supermarket life earlier this year is that we gained a desire to do more.

We're living in a world that's drowning in excess products that we don't need and it's beginning to take a toll on the world around us and as a family we want to do our bit not to contribute to that.

We're wanting to not only stop using supermarkets, but to also stop most of our cooperate consumerism as well.

Is it at all possible to "opt out" of modern consumerism?

In a world where everything is designed to be replaced in short amounts of time, my opinion is yes. While it can be overwhelming to start with, it is absolutely possible and here's how we're doing it.

Start by making a list
To opt out of cooperate consumerism you need to start with a basic list. This list is made up of two categories: 1) the things that we want and 2) the things we need.

Support small local businesses
So you have your list and you're doing without a few frivolous items, but there are some commercial items you just need in life. How do you get the things you need without selling out?

You shop local.

This is the number one thing you can do to grow your local economy and put money back into the pockets of locals. Think markets, fares, local events - get behind them and buy just enough of what you need instead of excess lower-priced items that are soon discarded.

What about special occasions?
Nobody ever really needed more of something simply because there was a birthday or anniversary rolling around, even during Christmas time you can avoid mass consumerism. Think a nice meal out, a family event or even a yearly pass to a local club. It doesn’t always have to be about the latest gadget.

Think outside the box when it comes to gifts
Instead of hitting huge chain stores for gifts turn to what is on offer locally. Event passes, homemade cakes and meals, even handmade gift vouchers to offer services from lawn mowing to babysitting.

After all the small things really are the big things.

But is this challenge sustainable?
Absolutely, with simple planning and organisation this is very sustainable. You'd be surprised about how much the local community will meet most of your requirements from edible gourmet goods to activities and pre-loved quality items.

From Lydia's Garden - Mocha choc chunk cookies

From Lydia's Garden - Mocha choc chunk cookies.

From Lydia's Garden - Mocha choc chunk cookies.

Source: 1 NEWS


In a large bowl combine
1 cup softened butter
2 large eggs
2 cups of brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of coffee diluted in 2 tablespoons of hot water
1 cup of roughly chopped dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 1/3 cups of flour

Cover a large baking tray with baking paper, before rolling the mixture into equal sizes balls lightly pressing flat with a fork.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 180 in the oven.
Once cooled melt dark chocolate and later over the top.
Perfect little love gifts, simply pop into glass jars and decorate or stack and wrap with up-cycled paper and ribbon.

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