Posts Tagged ‘secondhand’

Change the World Wednesday – 8th Nov

Whoops, it’s Thursday!

All explained on Life is a Labyrinth.

Well, our American friends have got another four years. Really the elections weren’t about who is best for the country, rather who was the lesser evil, the lesser evil won.

This weeks CTWW is a long one; it takes a bit of reading.

This week shop local by making at least one purchase from a local independent business. In other words, pass right by the big chain stores and search out a local merchant. Need some ideas? Have your hair cut by an independent salon … buy food from a farmer’s market or a local grocer … get your car maintenanced by the neighborhood mechanic … buy lunch from a “mom & pop” restaurant … get your cup of coffee from the neighborhood barista. Want to shop online? No problem … shop at a local Etsy shop (find one HERE), via a site such as GROUPON, using CRAIGSLIST or do an Internet search for local businesses in your area to find their website (if available). As always, we’d like to know all about it … where you shopped, any problems with shopping local, etc.


Or …

Not planning to make any purchases this week? Then your challenge is to do a little “homework” and come up with a plan for shopping local when you do need to shop. We’d like to know what kinds of purchases you can make locally and any problems you’ll need to overcome (along with solutions if you come up with them).

The best use for credit cards

I am planning on making a purchase this week, bigger than my usual. I badly need a new digital camera and my only option is a big retail outlet with specials, because it is the only way I can afford one. I am paying cash, not using a credit card; in fact, I don’t have a credit card any more. I did some calculations which proved what I had already known for years but wasn’t prepared to face. Credit cards are the biggest consumer of cash that exist. I paid mine off, and cancelled it.

Having admitted that I am making a big purchase, and they are few and far between, I do try to shop local where possible. I would much rather go to a brecho (secondhand shop) than buy something new. I prefer the sacolão (fruit & vege shop) to buying my fruit and veges at the supermarket. I would buy my meat at the açougeiro (local butcher), but he is more than an hour there and back on my walking stick, so the supermarket wins. I want to buy my milk at the local dairy farm, fresh from the cow, but it means two bus fares, making 2 litres (3+ pints) a whopping R$10.75, whereas the supermarket the same white liquid trash is R$3.80.

Up the Ante!

Not only is this CTWW a message to shop and buy local, I want to take it a step further. Don’t buy anything at a franchise. By that I mean don’t even buy a coffee at Starbucks. McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, nothing of that kind. Make your coffee at home, or go to a little coffee shop. These franchise places are stealing from your community and stopping the little people making a living.



Change the World Wednesday – 16th Nov

*Checks to make sure date is right*

Last week I mentioned that my papaya tree was giving shade to the kitchen. Small Footprints also mentioned that she had similar success with tomato plants. Just thought I would share the best heat control (Yes, I know most of you are heading to winter, file this away) I ever had (even beats air conditioning) was when I lived in a previous house.

Amendoeira Tree

We had an ‘amendoeira’ tree growing in the front yard. It was huge and apart from supporting the kids’ tyre swing it shaded the house. I have a photo, but cant find it, so I have added this one.

As you can see, plenty of shade.

The one we had shaded the lounge and even on the hottest days the lounge was cool and refreshing.

Plant a tree, do away with the need for costly air conditioning. The only problem with the amendoeira tree was that they shed leaves twice a year, but what a wonderful addition to the compost heap.

This week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge:

At this time of year, many people are planning holiday dinners, family get-togethers, etc. Typically, decorations play into these events. So this week, we’d like your tips & ideas for decorating in a “green” way. And, of course, we’d like you to choose Eco-friendly decorations for your event.

Or …

If you are not planning to decorate for a special occasion this year, we’d like to know how you generally adorn your living space. For example, do you purchase recycled items (wall hangings, knickknacks, etc.). Is your furniture made of Eco-friendly materials? Again, we’d love your tips & ideas for creating a comfortable, “green” living space … and if you’re thinking of adding anything new to your home, please choose an Eco-friendly item.

Well, I am not planning on celebrations at home, so I guess I have to consider the second part of the challenge.

My house has only three new items. My bed, the chair I am sitting on and a small cabinet in the kitchen; the rest is secondhand and recycled.

My sofas (2 & 3 seat) I salvaged after the larger one was thrown out by a family down the road a little. They later offered me the smaller as well.

The cabinete in the lounge, was donated by my previous landlord, I just had to repair it and it was mine. The coffee table was off the street and my liquor cabinet is old fruit boxes. The wine rack came from a brechó (Op Shop, secondhand shop). The TV (second hand) sits on a computer table that I salvaged from the street.

My fridge I bought secondhand from a neighbour. The drawers in my bedroom came from the street.

Improvised kitchen

There are many other items that I have salvaged and I have improvised a lot. Yes, those are old wardrobe drawers that I used to make my first makeshift kitchen cabinet and it’s still there; and a brick that holds my utensils. The portable stacker (left obscured) also came from the street; after a good scrub, was as good as new.

Now mostly this was buy necessity, but now that I am financially better off than when I began to set up house again. I usually check out the brechó before I buy anything. I can’t see the sense in buying new if secondhand is available and in good or repairable condition. Buying new is for the birds and those with status problems.

I learned along time ago to shuck my pride.


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